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   Technology StocksCisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO)

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From: JakeStraw6/12/2019 8:12:35 AM
   of 77392
The Network Gets Smarter, Simpler and More Secure with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
News Summary:

Cisco helps IT teams better understand network behavior and predict issues with new artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities.

Since its introduction two years ago, Cisco's intent-based networking has reinvented how networks are built and managed. Cisco is furthering this effort through multidomain integrations designed to provide end-to-end security, segmentation and application experience.

Cisco is delivering these new software advancements via software subscriptions, granting customers access to ongoing innovation.

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From: JakeStraw6/12/2019 8:14:01 AM
   of 77392
Cisco Securely Connects Harsh Environments and Remote Locations at the IoT Edge
News Summary:

Cisco is extending intent-based networking to some of the most challenging work environments on Earth; from chemical plants and oil refineries, to mines.

Unveiling ruggedized industrial switches, access points and routers designed to withstand extended exposure to water, dust, and other extreme environmental conditions.

Cultivating a global ecosystem of partners and developers, such as Emerson, to innovate on Cisco networking platforms.

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From: Eric8/7/2019 4:03:19 PM
   of 77392
Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire Voicea

8:00 AM ET 8/6/19 | PR Newswire

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Unlocking the Power of Data Within Business Conversations to Turn Talk into Action

SAN JOSE, Calif., Aug. 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ --

News Summary:

-- Cisco intent to acquire Voicea* represents another proof point in Cisco's

continuous commitment to making Webex the collaboration

platform-of-choice for the best employee experience.

-- As part of the Webex portfolio, our first focus is to use Voicea to turn

a simple meeting into a treasure trove of digital meeting notes and

insights, with robust data privacy.

-- Acquisition builds upon Cisco's vision of Cognitive Collaboration, which

slipstreams AI across all interactions to make teams more productive.

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) today announced its intent to acquire privately-held Voicea, headquartered in Mountain View, CA. Voicea is the creator of a market-leading real-time solution that provides meeting transcription, voice search, and meeting highlights/action items, with robust data privacy. It helps teams have more productive and actionable meetings by turning talk into action.

With Voicea technology, Cisco will enhance its Webex portfolio of products with a powerful transcription service that blends AI and Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) to unlock the power of any collaboration, like meetings and calls. Our first focus with Voicea is to turn meetings into a treasure trove of digital meeting notes and insights. Attendees and non-attendees can quickly gather the most relevant information from these digital notes and insights, turning a block of text into actionable information.

Key Facts:

-- This acquisition reflects Cisco's vison of Cognitive Collaboration,

interoperability, and workplace transformation through combining the

power of AI, ML, software, hardware, and the network to remove friction

and get work done faster and smarter.

-- The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of Cisco's

fiscal year 2020, subject to customary closing conditions and required

regulatory approvals.

-- Upon completion of the transaction, the Voicea team will join the Webex

portfolio team, led by Sri Srinivasan, Senior Vice President and General

Manager. Read the blog for more details.

-- Cisco collaboration customers include 95 percent of the Fortune 500.

-- More than 130 million people use Webex every month.

-- More than 360 million meetings happen on Webex each year.

"Voicea's true market leading technology will be a game changer for our Webex customers to experience more productive and actionable meetings," said Amy Chang, senior vice president and general manager, Cisco Collaboration. "The acquisition of Voicea allows us to leap past basic transcription services and instead, continue delivering on our vision of AI-driven, Cognitive Collaboration across our entire portfolio."

About Cisco

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide technology leader that has been making the Internet work since 1984. Our people, products, and partners help society securely connect and seize tomorrow's digital opportunity today. Discover more at and follow us on Twitter at @Cisco.

* Rizio Inc., is doing business as Voicea

Cisco and the Cisco logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cisco and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. A listing of Cisco's trademarks can be found at

Press Contact: Industry Analyst Contact: Investor Relations Contact:

Christine Johansen Ben Culp Carol Villazon

+1 (617) 595-8434 +1 (949) 823 3787 +1 (408) 527-6538

View original content to download multimedia:


Web site:

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From: Eric8/12/2019 4:39:02 PM
   of 77392
3 Reasons to Be Bullish on Cisco Stock Ahead Of Earnings --

10:43 AM ET 8/12/19

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By Eric J. Savitz

Tech stock earnings season continues this week, as Cisco Systems (ticker: CSCO) reports earnings Wednesday for its July quarter. And there are reasons for optimism about the networking equipment giant's shares.

J.P. Morgan analyst Samik Chatterjee pointed out in a research note Monday that the stock is trading about 10% below its 52-week high, pressured by investor concerns about the U.S.-China trade spat, and a nasty earnings disappointment from NetApp (NTAP) that hinted at softening Enterprise IT spending.

But Chatterjee repeated his Overweight rating and $62 price target on the stock, and offered three reasons he thinks the bearish tone on the stock is overdone:

-- Both of the company's most direct competitors in networking hardware,

Arista (ANET) and Juniper (JNPR), recently reported strong enterprise

sector growth.

-- While the macro economy uncertainty appears to be "elongating sales

cycles for large award wins with larger enterprises," Cisco's deep

customer footprint across a range of small- and medium-size business and

enterprise customers will limit the impact on its results, he adds.

-- And Chatterjee says Cisco's "accelerating top-line momentum" -- driven by

product cycles in campus switching and security -- as well as a coming

product tailwind in Wi-Fi equipment, "will allow the firm to offset macro


For those reasons, Cisco can show top-line acceleration, with mid-single-digit revenue growth going forward, Chatterjee writes. "We believe the recent weakness in CSCO shares offer an attractive entry point," he writes. The stock trades at 15.4 times earnings on a next 12 months basis, below the market multiple at 16.7 times, despite a "superior medium-term top-line and earnings growth outlook."

For Cisco's fiscal fourth quarter ended July 31, Street consensus calls for revenue of $13.39 billion, up 6%, with earnings of 82 cents a share. Cisco's guidance for the quarter called for revenue growth of 4.5% to 6.5%, with non-GAAP profits of 80 to 82 cents a share.

On Monday morning, Cisco stock fell 21 cents, or 0.4%, to $52.22.

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From: John Koligman8/14/2019 6:53:57 PM
   of 77392
Cisco drops on poor guidance, says China business dropped 25%



Cisco beat on top and bottom lines.Guidance came in below estimates.The company said it would buy Acacia Communications in the quarter.

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins being interviewed in Davos, Switzerland, January 21, 2016.
David A. Grogan | CNBC

Cisco shares fell by as much as 7% after hours on Wednesday after the company reported weaker-than-expected guidance. It had already dropped 4% during the day on a disastrous day for stocks.

Here’s what the company reported:

Earnings: 83 cents per share, excluding certain items, vs. 82 cents per share as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.Revenue: $13.43 billion, vs. $13.38 billion as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.

Revenue grew 6% on an annualized basis in the quarter, according to a statement.

“We did see in July some slight early indications of some macro shifts that we didn’t see in the prior quarter,” Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins told analysts on a Wednesday conference call. He said in the quarter Cisco company saw “significant impact” on business in China because of the U.S.-China trade war.

In China, Cisco’s revenue was down 25% on an annualized basis in the quarter, Kelly Kramer, the company’s chief financial officer, said on the call.

“What we’ve seen is in the state on enterprises ... we’re just being -- we’re being uninvited to bid,” Robbins said. “We’re not being allowed to even participate anymore.” Sales to carriers declined more forcefully as well, he said.

The majority of Cisco’s revenue comes from sales of data center networking products, including switches and routers. That business is represented by Cisco’s Infrastructure Platforms segment, which came up with quarterly revenue of $7.88 billion, above the $7.84 billion consensus among analyst polled by FactSet.

The Applications segment had $1.49 billion in revenue, in line with the $1.49 billion FactSet analyst consensus. Cisco’s Security business contributed $714 million in revenue, less than $739.9 million FactSet consensus estimate.

Heading into the report, some analysts expressed concerns about Cisco given storage hardware company NetApp’s decision to lower its fiscal-year guidanceat the beginning of August.

“We expect a large portion of NetApp’s headwinds to have limited implications for Cisco, except for cautious spending from large accounts which we believe Cisco is well positioned to offset through a strong product cycle and broader customer exposure,” JP Morgan analysts led by Samik Chatterjee wrote in a Monday note.

Cisco’s broad customer base could help the company weather softer macroeconomic conditions, wrote the JP Morgan analysts, who have an overweight rating on Cisco stock.

In the quarter Cisco announced new Wi-Fi products and a plan to acquire Acacia Communications for $2.6 billion.

As for guidance, Cisco said it expects to report 80 to 82 cents in earnings per share, excluding certain items, and flat to 2% revenue growth in the first quarter of its 2020 fiscal year. Analysts polled by Refinitiv were looking for 83 cents in earnings per share, excluding certain items, and $13.40 billion in revenue, or 2.5% growth, for that period.

Shares of the company are up 17% since the beginning of the year.

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From: Eric12/19/2019 6:22:22 PM
   of 77392
Buy Cisco Stock to Play New Product Cycles, Analyst Says --

12:04 PM ET 12/19/19

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By Eric J. Savitz

Cisco Systems stock is trading higher Thursday after Barclays upped its rating on the network equipment provider.

Analyst Tim Long now rates the stock Overweight from Equal Weight previously, with a new target price of $53, up from $47.

Cisco shares (ticker: CSCO) have sharply underperformed the market in 2019, with a year-to-date gain of just 13%, versus 33% for the Nasdaq Composite. Since peaking above $58 a share in July, Cisco shares have slumped 18%. The decline reflects recent investor concerns with the outlook for both enterprise and carrier spending amid a tougher macro environment. In reporting earnings last month, Cisco projected January quarter revenue would be down 3% to 5% on a year-over-year basis, a range of $11.8 billion to $12.1 billion, or as much as $1 billion below the previous Street consensus at $12.8 billion.

In an interview with Barron's following earnings last month, Cisco Chief Financial Officer Kelly Kramer said that order weakness the company saw in the previous quarter "got a little worse for us" in the October quarter. She said there was continued softness both from service providers and in emerging markets, but that the issue has spread and become more broad-based.

In a research note this morning, Long says his more bullish stance reflects both a valuation call and the promise of a recent round of product announcements.

"Cisco has a diversified revenue stream, but a few key product areas should improve for Cisco and the industry over the next year," he writes.

Long calls out Cisco's new 8000 router series which is based on the company's new Cisco Silicon One chip. "Cisco is four years removed from its last routing cycle, so we expect upgrades and share gains, particularly as 5G traffic grows," he writes.

Long also sees further gains for the campus switching market, where he estimates 40% share for Cisco's 9000 series switches. And Long says a technology shift to Wi-Fi 6 should help both the wireless local area networking, or WLAN, and campus switching segments.

As for the stock, Long says Cisco shares have historically outperformed following guidance revisions like the one issued last quarter. "We expect this time to be no different, particularly as product cycles emerge," he writes. Long today lifted his earnings-per-share estimates to $3.25 from $3.20 for the July 2020 fiscal year, and to $3.50 from $3.38 for fiscal year 2021. And he sees potential for multiple expansion, with new product cycles improving sentiment on the shares.

Cisco stock on Thursday was up recently 2%, to $47.55.

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From: Eric2/12/2020 4:12:13 PM
   of 77392
Second Qtr results:

Dividend Increased 3 Percent

Q2 Results: Revenue: $12.0 billion Decrease of (4)% year over year

Earnings per Share: GAAP: $0.68; Non-GAAP: $0.77 Non-GAAP EPS increased 5% year over year

Q3 Guidance: Revenue: (1.5)% to (3.5)% decline year over year

Earnings per Share: GAAP: $0.62 to $0.67; Non-GAAP: $0.79 to $0.81 SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb. 12, 2020 --

Cisco today reported second quarter results for the period ended January 25, 2020. Cisco reported second quarter revenue of $12.0 billion, net income on a generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) basis of $2.9 billion or $0.68 per share, and non-GAAP net income of $3.3 billion or $0.77 per share.

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From: Eric2/25/2020 1:19:22 PM
   of 77392
UPDATE: Cisco unleashes 'Thanos' in hopes for a 'radical simplification' of security software

8:35 AM ET 2/25/20 | MarketWatch

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UPDATE: Cisco unleashes 'Thanos' in hopes for a 'radical simplification' of security software

By Wallace Witkowski, MarketWatch

SecureX platform, code-named after Marvel villain, combines disparate security products from Cisco and competitors into a single interface

Cisco Systems Inc. is hoping to restore order into a universe of frazzled security professionals through a "radical simplification" that could reduce the number of hungry mouths in a crowded marketplace.

Sound familiar? Well, Cisco (CSCO) did internally code-name the product "Thanos," after the Marvel supervillain who believes he will bring order to a resource-taxed universe by randomly killing half its inhabitants. By launch on Monday, the first day of the 2020 RSA Conference for the cybersecurity industry in San Francisco, Cisco had renamed the product SecureX.

In a statement, Cisco said the product "was code-named to demonstrate similar abilities/powers -- strength and speed that SecureX can offer to customers."

Evil connotations aside, the culling spirit of Thanos plays well into what chief information security officers have long been demanding from their products: Ways of simplifying their information-security needs with scarce resources. Cisco said the SecureX platform is a single, cloud-native interface that brings together threat visibility from all Cisco products as well as third-party products in less than 15 minutes.

"The industry has been flooded with thousands of point products that were meant to help customers but instead created unmanageable environments with products that don't work together, which has created gaps in businesses' security posture," Gee Rittenhouse, the head of Cisco's security business, said in a statement.

See also: Security software seen as a fractured industry in need of consolidation

Cisco's pitch is that SecureX is the scalable platform that can simplify the security environment in which companies currently patch together products from up to dozens of vendors. Of course, Cisco -- believed to be the largest single security vendor in terms of revenue after years of costly acquisitions -- would like to replace many of those products with its own. Cisco said SecureX will be available in June.

"Nearly one-third (31%) of organizations base cybersecurity monitoring and protection on more than 50 different security products," said Jon Oltsik, senior principal analyst at the Enterprise Strategy Group, in a statement. "This not only adds cost and complexity but also makes it harder to detect and respond to cybersecurity incidents in a timely fashion."

Cisco and its competitors will gather in San Francisco this week for RSA, which runs through Friday. Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) , AT&T Inc. (T) and International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) have canceled their plans for RSA due to COVID-19 fears, but conference organizers said in an update Friday ( they still expect more than 40,000 attendees.

For more: Will the shows go on? Coronavirus hangs over tech conferences

Over the past 12 months, Cisco shares have declined nearly 8%, while the ETFMG Prime Cyber Security ETF (HACK) has advanced more than 11%. In comparison, the Dow Jones Industrial Average , of which Cisco is a component, has risen 12%, the S&P 500 Index has grown 20% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index has advanced 28%.

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From: Eric5/13/2020 4:08:32 PM
   of 77392
Cisco Reports Third Quarter Earnings

4:05 PM ET 5/13/20 | PR Newswire

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-- Q3 Results:

-- Revenue: $12.0 billion

-- Decrease of (8)% year over year

-- Earnings per Share: GAAP: $0.65; Non-GAAP: $0.79

-- GAAP EPS decreased (6)% year over year

-- Non-GAAP EPS increased 1% year over year

-- Q4 Guidance:

-- Revenue: (8.5)% to (11.5)% decline year over year

-- Earnings per Share: GAAP: $0.57 to $0.62; Non-GAAP: $0.72 to $0.74

SAN JOSE, Calif., May 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Cisco today reported third quarter results for the period ended April 25, 2020. Cisco reported third quarter revenue of $12.0 billion, net income on a generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) basis of $2.8 billion or $0.65 per share, and non-GAAP net income of $3.4 billion or $0.79 per share.

"During this extraordinary time, our priority has been supporting our employees, customers, partners and communities, while positioning Cisco for the future," said Chuck Robbins, chairman and CEO of Cisco. "The pandemic has driven organizations across the globe to digitize their operations and support remote workforces at a faster speed and greater scale than ever before. We remain focused on providing the technology and solutions our customers need to accelerate their digital organizations."

GAAP Results

Q3 FY 2020 Q3 FY 2019 Vs. Q3 FY 2019

Revenue $ 12.0 billion $ 13.0 billion (8)%

Net Income $ 2.8 billion $ 3.0 billion (9)%

Diluted Earnings

per Share

(EPS) $ 0.65 $ 0.69 (6)%

Non-GAAP Results

Q3 FY 2020 Q3 FY 2019 Vs. Q3 FY 2019

Net Income $ 3.4 billion $ 3.5 billion (2)%

EPS $ 0.79 $ 0.78 1%

Reconciliations between net income, EPS, and other measures on a GAAP and non-GAAP basis are provided in the tables located in the section entitled "Reconciliations of GAAP to non-GAAP Measures."

"We executed well in Q3 in a very challenging environment, delivering strong margins and non-GAAP EPS growth," said Kelly Kramer, CFO of Cisco. "The resiliency that we have been building into our business model is paying off, with software subscriptions now at 74% of our software revenue, up 9 points year over year. We are focused on driving long-term profitable growth while delivering shareholder value."

COVID-19 Pandemic Response

We have been focused on helping our employees, customers, partners and communities.


-- 95% of our global workforce working from home.

-- Seamless transition to work from home with a long-standing flexible work

policy, and we build the technologies that allow organizations to stay

connected, secure and productive.

-- For the 5% who must be in the office to perform their roles, we are

focused on their health and safety, and are taking all of the necessary


Customer and Partners

-- Introduced a variety of free offers and trials for our Webex and security

technologies as they dramatically shifted entire workforces to be remote.

-- Announced $2.5 billion in financing with a new Business Resiliency

Program through Cisco Capital to offer financial flexibility and support

their business continuity. This will help customers and partners access

the technology they need now, invest for recovery, and defer most of the

payments until early 2021.


-- Committed nearly $300 million to date to support both global and local

pandemic response efforts.

-- Providing technology and financial support for non-profits, first

responders, and governments.

-- Donating personal protective equipment to hospital workers including N95

masks and face shields 3D-printed by Cisco volunteers around the world.

Financial Summary

All comparative percentages are on a year-over-year basis unless otherwise noted.

Q3 FY 2020 Highlights

Revenue -- Total revenue was $12.0 billion, down 8%, with product revenue down 12% and service revenue up 5%. Revenue by geographic segment was: Americas down 8%, EMEA down 7%, and APJC down 9%. Product revenue was led by growth in Security, up 6%. Infrastructure Platforms was down 15% and Applications was down 5%.

Gross Margin -- On a GAAP basis, total gross margin, product gross margin, and service gross margin were 64.9%, 63.7%, and 67.7%, respectively, as compared with 63.1%, 62.0%, and 66.3%, respectively, in the third quarter of fiscal 2019.

On a non-GAAP basis, total gross margin, product gross margin, and service gross margin were 66.6%, 65.8%, and 68.9%, respectively, as compared with 64.6%, 63.7%, and 67.3%, respectively, in the third quarter of fiscal 2019.

Total gross margins by geographic segment were: 67.8% for the Americas, 65.7% for EMEA and 63.5% for APJC.

Operating Expenses -- On a GAAP basis, operating expenses were $4.4 billion, down 6%, and were 36.4% of revenue. Non-GAAP operating expenses were $3.8 billion, down 9%, and were 31.8% of revenue.

Operating Income -- GAAP operating income was $3.4 billion, down 3%, with GAAP operating margin of 28.5%. Non-GAAP operating income was flat at $4.2 billion, with non-GAAP operating margin at 34.9%.

Provision for Income Taxes -- The GAAP tax provision rate was 19.4%. The non-GAAP tax provision rate was 20.0%.

Net Income and EPS -- On a GAAP basis, net income was $2.8 billion, a decrease of 9%, and EPS was $0.65, a decrease of 6%. On a non-GAAP basis, net income was $3.4 billion, a decrease of 2%, and EPS was $0.79, an increase of 1%.

Cash Flow from Operating Activities -- $4.2 billion for the third quarter of fiscal 2020, a decrease of 2% compared with $4.3 billion for the third quarter of fiscal 2019.

Balance Sheet and Other Financial Highlights

Cash and Cash Equivalents and Investments -- $28.6 billion at the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2020, compared with $33.4 billion at the end of fiscal 2019.

Deferred Revenue -- $18.6 billion, up 7% in total, with deferred product revenue up 17%. Deferred service revenue was up 1%.

Remaining Performance Obligations -- $25.5 billion at the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2020, up 11%.

Capital Allocation -- In the third quarter of fiscal 2020, we returned $2.5 billion to shareholders through share buybacks and dividends. We declared and paid a cash dividend of $0.36 per common share, or $1.5 billion, and repurchased approximately 25 million shares of common stock under our stock repurchase program at an average price of $39.71 per share for an aggregate purchase price of $981 million. The remaining authorized amount for stock repurchases under the program is $10.8 billion with no termination date.


In the third quarter of fiscal 2020, we closed the acquisition of Exablaze, a privately held designer and manufacturer of advanced network devices aimed at reducing latency and improving network performance.

Guidance for Q4 FY 2020

Cisco expects to achieve the following results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020:

Q4 FY 2020

Revenue (8.5)% - (11.5)% decline Y/Y

Non-GAAP gross margin rate 64% - 65%

Non-GAAP operating margin rate 31.5% - 32.5%

Non-GAAP tax provision rate 20%

Non-GAAP EPS $0.72 - $0.74

Cisco estimates that GAAP EPS will be $0.57 to $0.62 in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020.

A reconciliation between the Guidance for Q4 FY 2020 on a GAAP and non-GAAP basis is provided in the table entitled "GAAP to non-GAAP Guidance for Q4 FY 2020" located in the section entitled "Reconciliations of GAAP to non-GAAP Measures."

Editor's Notes:

-- Q3 fiscal year 2020 conference call to discuss Cisco's results along with

its guidance will be held on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. Pacific

Time. Conference call number is 1-888-848-6507 (United States) or

1-212-519-0847 (international).

-- Conference call replay will be available from 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time, May

13, 2020 to 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time, May 20, 2020 at 1-800-391-9847

(United States) or 1-402-220-3093 (international). The replay will also

be available via webcast on the Cisco Investor Relations website at

-- Additional information regarding Cisco's financials, as well as a webcast

of the conference call with visuals designed to guide participants

through the call, will be available at 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time, May 13,

2020. Text of the conference call's prepared remarks will be available

within 24 hours of completion of the call. The webcast will include both

the prepared remarks and the question-and-answer session. This

information, along with the GAAP to non-GAAP reconciliation information,

will be available on the Cisco Investor Relations website at



(In millions, except per-share amounts)


Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended

April 25, April 27, April 25, April 27,

2020 2019 2020 2019


Product $ 8,597 $ 9,722 $ 27,146 $ 28,885

Service 3,386 3,236 10,001 9,591

Total revenue 11,983 12,958 37,147 38,476


Product 3,120 3,693 9,770 11,106

Service 1,092 1,092 3,378 3,278

Total cost of

sales 4,212 4,785 13,148 14,384

GROSS MARGIN 7,771 8,173 23,999 24,092



Research and

development 1,546 1,659 4,782 4,824

Sales and

marketing 2,192 2,403 6,951 7,084

General and

administrative 457 541 1,431 1,261

Amortization of



assets 34 39 108 112

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From: Eric5/13/2020 4:34:04 PM
   of 77392
UPDATE: Cisco stock heads higher as profit continues to flow amid pandemic despite revenue slowdown

4:31 PM ET 5/13/20 | MarketWatch

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By Jeremy C. Owens, MarketWatch , Jon Swartz

Earnings increase from last year despite sales decline; forecast for fiscal fourth quarter shows higher profit expectation than analysts

Cisco Systems Inc. showed stronger-than-expected resilience in its earnings Wednesday and shares went higher in after-hours trading, but the tech giant's sales are declining amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The maker of network services, videoconferencing tools and security software reported third-quarter net income of $2.8 billion, or 65 cents a share, as revenue declined 8% to $12 billion from $12.96 billion in the year-ago period. After adjusting for stock compensation and other effects, Cisco reported earnings of 79 cents a share, up slightly from 78 cents a share a year ago.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet had projected adjusted earnings of 71 cents a share on revenue of $11.9 billion on average, though those expectations have come down significantly since COVID-19 began to spread across the globe. Analysts expected adjusted earnings of 80 cents a share on sales of $12.7 billion at the end of 2019.

The third-quarter results, announced after the market's close Wednesday, initially sent Cisco (CSCO) shares up 3% in after-hours trading. Cisco stock has dipped 20% the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 index has inched down 1%. Since March 12, however, Cisco shares have jumped 30%.

"The pandemic has driven organizations across the globe to digitize their operations and support remote workforces at a faster speed and greater scale than ever before. We remain focused on providing the technology and solutions our customers need to accelerate their digital organizations," Cisco Chief Executive Chuck Robbins said in a statement announcing the results.

See also: Cisco is seeing a spike in videoconferencing, but how will IT spending fare in the age of COVID-19?

As a major provider of networking equipment, Cisco is a crucial barometer of demand for information technology by major corporations. The results underscore softness in overall IT spending in the age of COVID-19 despite insatiable demand for certain aspects -- namely videoconferencing and network infrastructure.

For the fiscal fourth quarter, Cisco expects revenue decreases to accelerate, guiding for a year-over-year sales decline of 8.5% to 11.5% after hitting more than $13 billion in revenue in the year-ago quarter, suggesting that sales will come in lower than $12 billion. Analysts on average expected fourth-quarter revenue of $12.07 billion, after shaving off more than $750 million in response to COVID-19.

LIke its big profit beat on Wednesday, however, Cisco continues to exceed expectations with its earnings forecast. For the fourth quarter, the company expects adjusted earnings of 72 to 74 cents a share, topping the average analyst expectation of 71 cents a share, according to FactSet.

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