Cisco misses on Q4 revenue

Economy sending "mixed signals"; Q1 2011 guidance dampened

Cisco missed revenue expectations for its fourth fiscal quarter. Even though the company beat Wall Street earnings expectations by a penny a share, a 27% revenue hike fell short of the Street's forecasts of 28% growth.

As a result, Cisco's stock got hammered in after hours trading earlier today, after it released Q4 results.

Q4 sales were $10.8 billion, just $100 million shy of the Wall Street target of $10.9 billion. Earnings, excluding expenses, charges and other items, came in at 43 cents per share, better than the Street's estimates of 42 cents per share and up 39% from last year.

For the year, Cisco hit $40 billion in revenue, up 11% from fiscal 2009. Earnings per share, excluding expenses, etc., increased 19% from last year.

CEO John Chambers said in a conference call on the quarter's results that Cisco customers are uncertain about the economic outlook, and cautiously conservative in Europe where the economy is still mired in a debt crisis. He said the global economy was sending "mixed signals" about where it is heading.

Perhaps rosy forecasts of an increase in IT spending are off-track?

Cisco's conservative guidance for Q1, 2011 helped beat the stock down as well. The company is forecasting 18% to 20% growth over last year, which would put it at $10.6 billion to $10.8 billion - flat to down 2% sequentially. Wall Street was expecting Q1 revenue of $10.95 billion.

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