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Research and Markets: Cisco - A Tenuous Turnaround - 2013

Research and Markets ( has announced the addition of the "Cisco - A Tenuous Turnaround" company profile to their offering.

The headline figures were good; revenues were up 6% and GAAP EPS rose 19%; But results were less strong if you strip out the restructuring charges last year and the NDS acquisition; in which case revenues rose 4% and EPS was up 10%.

The critical issues were that networking revenues fell and organic revenue growth was low;

This was mostly due to weakness in Europe and Public sector; which is set to continue.

Cisco's Q2 guidance was for slightly slower revenue growth with improving margins. Management emphasized their expectation for the US to lead any recovery in sales. On a positive note, EBIT margins expanded to the high-end of their historical range with better cost control & productivity improvements.

Significant recent events

- John Chambers announces plans to step down as CEO in 2014 - 16.

- US congressional report criticizes Huawei & ZTE; partly based on information from Cisco.

Investment thesis - A tenuous turnaround

Since 2011, Cisco restructured; re-organised internally, cut costs & focused on key its products.

Cisco now has a 'value' investment profile with a shift to low growth, low valuation ratios, strong & consistent FCF (which is returned to shareholders), and 'profitable market leadership' strategy.

Margins have improved with better cost controls, improved productivity and better product mix.

Cisco's fundamental problem is low revenue growth; Due to weak networking (switches & routers) sales and a failure to diversify sufficiently (despite its efforts to do so) into services & software, and new products (eg. video, collaboration, data centres, etc ).

Networking has matured and virtualisation technology threatens to cannibalize revenues.

In summary, Cisco is a great company but is behind the curve and loosing its dominance as the rapidly internet evolves. The earlier CEO John Chambers steps down the better.

For more information visit

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