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August 16, 2012

Cisco looking good in face of European troubles

Cisco systems has posted positive Q4 2012 results, exceeding expectations and raising its quarterly dividend to investors.

By Allan Swann

The world’s largest maker of networking equipment posted sales of $11.7bn for the quarter up 4% year on year, while the company’s net income jumped 56% to $1.9bn. This brings it to full year sales of $46.1bn (up 7%) and full year net income of $8bn.

"Our strategy — delivering intelligent networks and technology architectures, built on integrated products, services and software platforms, to fuel our customers’ businesses — is proving the right long-term strategy for our success. There is no question that our industry and our world are evolving quickly and Cisco is squarely at the center of major technology market transitions — cloud, mobile, visual, virtual and social," said Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers.

The company holds $48.7bn in cash, so is positioned well to weather the downturn, especially in Europe and the USA where government infrastructure builds are being scaled back in the face of austerity measures.

The company has long been used by tech analysts as a canary in the gold mine – given it sells large amounts of the network gear required for big private and public sector tech builds, its performance is a good trend measure for the state of the industry as a whole.

Cisco also paid a cash dividend of $0.08 per common share, or $425 million, for the fourth quarter. It plans to raise this by 75% to $0.14.
"Cisco has the financial strength and flexibility to effectively invest in our business, pursue strategic opportunities, such as acquisitions, as well as return a minimum of 50% of our free cash flow annually through dividends and share repurchases to our shareholders," said Frank Calderoni, EVP and Chief Financial Officer.

Cisco’s shares were at $17.35 before the announcement, and now sit at $19.02 (at the time of print), a 9% jump.


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