Cisco results expected to hit mark

Cisco on Wednesday is expected to report third quarter results in-line with analyst expectations. Consensus estimates are for the company to post a revenue decline of 17% from last year, and a drop in earnings per share of 34%.

Q3 bookings are expected to be weak, according to investment firm UBS, which released a bulletin today previewing Cisco's quarter. Aggressive cost cutting may crimp Cisco's equally aggressive appetite for growth:

We see possible challenges as Cisco works to execute upon its aggressive growth

strategy for the remainder of 2009 and into 2010 (~28 adjacent growth markets,

consumer and data center push), while the company also aggressively cuts costs.

Although we believe Cisco has world-class management team, the aggressive entry into new markets while also aggressively cutting costs could put more than normal stress on Cisco until the economy is clearly recovering.

A tough couple of months early in the April quarter may have weakened bookings for the entire quarter, UBS notes. US & Europe enterprise bookings were weak, according to the firm, while carrier improved modestly late in the quarter. Asia fared better for the company during the quarter, according to UBS.

UBS maintains its estimates for Cisco's July quarter: revenue of $8.17 billion and EPS of $0.26, vs. The Street's expectations of $8.26 billion in sales and EPS of $0.27. Though the July quarter -- Cisco's fourth fiscal quarter -- is usually strong, UBS says it may be offset by weak bookings.

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