Cisco earnings continue to soar

Earlier this month, internetworking giant Cisco Systems Inc. reported net income of US$825 million for the last quarter, almost tripling the company’s income from the same period a year ago.

San Jose-based Cicso posted net sales of US$4.35 billion for the quarter, up 53 per cent from the US$2.85 billion it reported for the same period last year. Cisco reported net income of US$282 million for its second quarter last year.

In addition, the company declared a two-for-one split on its common stock for shareholders of record as of Feb. 22.

“Overall, our goals continue to be to grow as fast or faster than the overall market,” said Cisco President and CEO John Chambers. “At the same time, we recognize that there will be times when we will grow at or below that.”

Chambers identified two challenges facing Cisco: finding an additional 3,000 qualified workers in the next three months and fending off increased competition.

Chambers said a major challenge facing the company is the movement of telecom equipment providers into the enterprise networking space, an area now dominated by Cisco. He said he also expects plenty of competition from smaller companies.

Looking toward the future, Chambers said, “We expect gross margins will decline. We continue to gain market share in almost all of our key markets. We will grow expenses slightly faster over the coming quarters. We will continue to maintain our healthy paranoia.”