Cisco to add 1,000 jobs as Q3 earnings bring good news

Cisco Systems Inc. will add 1,000 sales and engineering jobs by the end of the year after posting successful third-quarter earnings numbers that included a US$1 billion increase in sales and net income of US$1.2 billion, or 17 cents per share.

The hiring plans are being seen as good news in the high-tech sector, which has been hit hard since 2000, when the stock market bubble began to burst, taking a huge amount of tech industry enthusiasm with it.

For the networking company, net sales for its fiscal third quarter, which ended May 1, totaled US$5.6 billion, a 21.7 per cent increase from one year ago, when net sales totaled US$4.6 billion. Earnings on a generally accepted accounting basis (GAAP) of 17 cents per share were up over last year as well, when the company reported earnings of 14 cents per share.

Net income for the third quarter of fiscal 2004 on a GAAP basis was US$1.2 billion, compared with US$987 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2003. Pro forma net income for the third quarter was US$1.4 billion, or 19 cents per share, compared with US$1.1 billion, or 15 cents per share one year ago.

“We are pleased to have achieved record earnings per share this quarter — marking our eighth consecutive quarter with pro forma net income exceeding (US)$1 billion, and the strongest cash flow from operations in the company’s history,” John Chambers, Cisco’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “This momentum was achieved through sequential order growth across all major product categories and solid progress in our advanced technologies including security, wireless LAN and IP telephony.”

During a conference call with financial analysts, Chambers revealed that the company would be hiring 1,000 workers by the end of the year, based on the positive results.

Spokeswoman Robyn Jenkins-Blum said the new hires will be in sales and engineering primarily in the U.S. and are a direct result of the company wanting “to meet business needs and growth requirements.”

“We’re gearing up,” she said. “It was a very solid quarter, and we are very pleased with it.”

Cisco had about 34,307 workers as of May 1, Jenkins-Blum said.

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