Can Cisco deliver another strong quarter?
The networking company surprised Wall Street with stellar numbers in its last earnings report. Investors will be watching for more of the same Wednesday.
Investors will look for signs that would confirm Cisco's strong performance the previous quarter is a sign that the tech powerhouse is on the comeback trail.
Here's what investors can expect:
Cisco is expected to post profit of 53 cents a share, compared with a profit of a 52 cents a share for the year-earlier period, according to a survey of analysts conducted by FactSet.
Cisco is seen reporting sales of $12.15 billion, down from $12.42 billion in the year-ago quarter. In May, the networking giant surprised investors by saying it expected fourth-quarter sales to decline 1 percent to 3 percent, compared with analyst projections at the time of a 6 percent drop.
Cisco shares have rallied about 10 percent in the last three months following the company's strong quarterly report in May when the networking giant put out the upbeat outlook. The stock is up 12 percent this year through morning trade on Wednesday, compared with a 5.1 percent gain in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX).
Key areas to watch
Cisco had struggled with the uncertainties in the corporate technology market and specific changes in the networking industry that analysts warn threaten the company's core business.
But Cisco surprised Wall Street in May with a strong report that Chief Executive John Chambers presented with a more confident and combative tone.
"Cisco seemingly turned things around last quarter as its business started to pick up following a very weak first half of its fiscal year," BMO Capital analyst Tim Long told clients in a note. "The recovery should accelerate this quarter."
"We expect Cisco to build off its momentum from last quarter and report strong results," Long added. "Cisco is still in the early stages of a turnaround, and while some parts of the business remain in flux . . . we expect solid results over the next few quarters given the building backlog, improving order trends, a good US enterprise demand environment, and increased demand for new products."
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