The recession is certainly over for Cisco Systems (CSCO). Today, February 3, after the market close the company reported earnings for the quarter that ended in January (Cisco’s second quarter of fiscal 2010) of 40 cents a share. That was 5 cents a share better than Wall Street projections.
Tech stocks had already finished strong for the day before Cisco reported. The positive surprise could be enough to keep what was one of the weakest sectors in January on the mend. (For more on the January slide in the technology sector and what it means for the market as a whole see my post http://jubakpicks.com/2010/01/28/odds-that-this-is-a-10-correction-and-not-just-5-rise-as-tech-stocks-sink/ )
Chances are pretty good since unlike a lot of tech companies that have followed great earnings reports with disappointing guidance, Cisco raised projections for the next quarter in its conference call.
In the call Cisco Systems projected fiscal third quarter revenue would grow by 23% to 26% from the third quarter of fiscal 2009. That works out to revenue of $10 to $10.3 billion. Wall Street had projected $9.5 billion for the quarter.
This quarter revenue at Cisco climbed 8% from the second quarter of fiscal 2009 to $9.81 billion. The Wall Street consensus had looked for revenue of $9.41 billion.
Cash flow from operations climbed to $2.5 billion in the quarter. That was up from $1.5 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2010 but down from the $3.2 billion of the second quarter of fiscal 2009. Cisco Systems finished the quarter with $39.6 billion in cash and cash equivalents, a $5.2 billion increase from the second quarter of fiscal 2009.
Looking at that cash balance, I’d say Cisco has enough cash to keep buying back its stock—the company bought back 63 million shares for $1.5 billion in the second quarter of 2010—and simultaneously stay on the hunt for acquisitions as well.
As of February 3, I’m leaving my target price at $29 by June 2010.
Full disclosure: I own shares of Cisco Systems in my personal portfolio.