Cisco stock approaches post-2000 highs after earnings show revenue growth again
Cisco Systems Inc. shares rallied to price levels the company hasn’t seen since the dot-com bust Wednesday in extended trading after the networking giant’s earnings and outlook topped Wall Street estimates and showed revenue growth for the first time in more than a year and a half.
Cisco CSCO, +2.09% shares surged 6.6% to $44.85 after hours on heavy volume, which would be the highest close for the stock since Dec. 15, 2000, when shares closed at $48.17, according to FactSet data.
The company reported a fiscal second-quarter loss of $8.78 billion, or $1.78 a share, compared with net income of $2.35 billion, or 47 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings, excluding $11.1 billion in charges from the U.S. tax overhaul, were 63 cents a share. Of the 26 analysts surveyed by FactSet, Cisco on average was expected to post adjusted earnings of 59 cents a share, and Cisco had forecast 58 cents to 60 cents a share.
Read: Tax overhaul is a credit negative for tech sector, S&P says
Revenue rose to $11.89 billion from $11.58 billion in the year-ago period, breaking a streak of six straight quarters of year-over-year revenue declines. Wall Street had expected revenue of $11.81 billion from Cisco, according to 23 analysts polled by FactSet. Cisco had predicted revenue of $11.7 billion to $11.93 billion.
Services revenue rose 3% to $3.18 billion, while analysts had expected a 0.9% rise to $3.13 billion. Security revenue, on the other hand, rose 6% to $558 million, while Wall Street had expected a 10% gain to $582.8 million.
For the fiscal third quarter, Cisco estimates earnings of 64 cents to 66 cents a share on revenue of $12.3 billion to $12.54 billion. Analysts expect earnings of 63 cents a share on revenue of $12.13 billion. Estimate had forecast earnings of 62 cents on revenue of $12.13 billion.
Separately, Cisco announced a 14% hike to its quarterly dividend to 33 cents a share, and an authorization to buy back an additional $25 billion in shares, raising its total repurchase authorization to $31 billion.
Expect analysts to hike their price targets on Thursday. Of the 29 analysts who cover Cisco, 20 have buy or overweight ratings, and nine have hold ratings. Before the release of earnings, those analysts had an average price target of $42.69, or 1.4% higher than Wednesday’s close.
Cisco stock had gained 30.3% in the past year before any post-earnings bounce, as the Dow Jones industrial average DJIA, +1.03% , which counts Cisco as a component, gained 22.8%.