MarketWatch First Take: Cisco made it through a pandemic pothole, and the stock is driving higher

by | Feb 15, 2023 | Stock Market

Amid a sea of earnings disappointments this quarter, Cisco Systems Inc. surprised Wall Street on Wednesday as it moved beyond pandemic supply-chain issues to gain its best handle on demand in recent years. Cisco executives
reported fiscal second-quarter earnings that blew past expectations for the holiday quarter, raised their outlook for the next quarter and full year, and raised the company’s quarterly dividend by a penny Wednesday. They pointed out that the second-quarter revenue of $13.59 billion was its second-highest quarterly revenue ever, and that 44% of its total revenue came from subscription revenue, of which software was a big part.

“While the environment we’re operating in remains dynamic, Cisco is better positioned today than at any time since I became CEO almost eight years ago,” Chief Executive Chuck Robbins told analysts on a conference call. “We have reshaped and transformed the company and our portfolio, while remaining highly disciplined both financially and operationally.” Wall Street agreed, sending Cisco’s shares up almost 11% initially in after-hours trading, before they fell back to gains of more than 3% — still a strong move for a company with a market capitalization of roughly $200 billion. Also see: Cisco gear getting into Russia is ‘disappointing’ and ‘frustrating,’ exec says Cisco has been slowly moving many of its customers to a recurring subscription model since it first launched its Catalyst 9000 in 2017, a software-centric switch that has a …

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