Network computing giant Cisco Systems has underlined the recovery in the technology sector by posting a strong set of fourth quarter results.
Net sales for the quarter were US$5.9bn, compared with US$4.7bn in Q4 2003, an increase of 26 pc. Net income for the quarter was US$1.4bn, compared with US$982m for Q4 2003.
Net sales for full year were US$22bn, compared with US$18.9bn for fiscal 2003, an increase of 16.8pc.
“This was a record-breaking quarter for Cisco on a number of financial and operational levels, including generating the highest GAAP and pro forma net income and earnings per share in the company’s history,” said John Chambers, Cisco president and CEO. “The investments we’ve made in emerging markets around the world, coupled with continued innovation in our core business and advanced technologies, are generating record results.”
Chambers continued: “Our strategy has produced solid results across multiple categories, with profitable growth generation resulting in a year-over-year increase in quarterly revenue of 26pc, strong balance across market segments and geographies, as well as clear momentum in multiple product categories and our advanced technology markets.”
Cisco’s cash flow also improved during the quarter: from US$1.5bn during Q4 2003 to US$2.1bn, although the company’s total assets (cash and cash equivalents and total investments) were slightly down year-on-year at US$19.3bn, compared with US$20.7bn at the end of fiscal 2003.
Cisco instigated a large share buyback programme during the quarter, repurchasing 90 million shares of common stock for US$2bn. For the fiscal year as a whole, the company bought back US$9.1bn worth of stock.
Cisco continued on the acquisition trail during the quarter, acquiring a number of companies including Procket Networks, Actona Technologies and Parc Technologies.
By Brian Skelly