Cisco inches past expectations in Q4, fiscal 1999

Cisco Systems on Tuesday just beat Wall Street expectations in reporting per share net income of 21 US cents for the fourth quarter and 75 cents for the full fiscal year, attributing its success to strong sales of internet-related products.

Thirty analysts polled by First Call had predicted Cisco would report earnings of 20 cents per share for the quarter, which ended July 31, and 74 cents per share for the year.

The networking company reported fourth-quarter earnings of $727 million, up 38 per cent from the $525 million, or 16 cents per share, reported for the same period a year ago; and earnings of $2.55 billion for fiscal 1999, 35 per cent higher than the $1.88 billion, or 58 cents per share, reported for fiscal 1998, according to a company statement.

Revenue was $3.55 billion for the quarter, up 48 per cent from the $2.4 billion reported for the fourth quarter last year, and fiscal year revenue was $12.15 billion, up 43 per cent from the $8.49 billion reported for last fiscal year.

The figures do not include one-time tax benefits or charges for purchased in-process research and development and acquisition-related costs. Including those one-time figures, Cisco's earnings for the fourth quarter were $635 million, or 18 cents per share, compared to $493 million, or 15 cents per share for the quarter a year ago; and for the year were $2.10 billion, or 62 cents per share, compared to $1.35 billion, or 42 cents per share, for last year.

During the fourth quarter, Cisco completed the acquisition of Amteva Technologies Inc and GeoTel Communications Corp as well as pooled transactions associated with its purchase of Fibex Systems and Sentient Networks.

The net income per share figures reflect the two-for-one stock split that the company conducted June 21.

"The internet is emerging as a major force behind the strongest US economy in history," John Chambers, president and chief executive officer of Cisco, said in a statement. "By providing the systems that make the internet work, Cisco is playing a major role in helping customers thrive in the explosive internet economy.

"As a result, we are growing faster than all of our key competitors and have been the fastest growing and most profitable company in the history of the computer industry," Chambers boasted.

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