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Feb 15, 2017

Cisco revenue slips for fifth straight quarter on sluggish demand

Cisco headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif.

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Cisco Systems Inc reported higher-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit, helped mainly by strong demand for its security products.

The company's shares, which had risen 27 per cent in the past 12 months to touch a more than nine-year high on Wednesday, were down 1.3 per cent at US$32.40 after the bell.

Revenue in the security business, which offers firewall protection and breach detection systems, rose 14 per cent to US$528 million. Analysts on average had expected US$519.1 million, according to market research firm FactSet Street Account.

Revenue in the legacy switching business, still by far its largest, fell five per cent to US$3.31 billion in the second quarter, compared with the average estimate of US$3.38 billion, according to FactSet Street Account.

The hardware business has been struggling amid stiff competition from companies such as Juniper Networks Inc and weak spending by telecom carriers and enterprises.

To offset sluggish demand for its traditional lineup of switches and routers, Cisco has been focusing on areas such as security, the internet of things and cloud computing.

Excluding items, the company earned 57 cents US per share beating the average analyst estimate by a cent, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Cisco said it expected an adjusted profit of 57 cents-59 cents US per share for the current quarter. Analysts on average were expecting a profit of 58 cents US.

The company's net income fell to US$2.35 billion, or 47 cents US per share, in the second quarter ended Jan. 28 from US$3.15 billion, or 62 cents US per share, a year earlier.

Revenue fell 2.9 per cent — the fifth straight quarterly decline — to US$11.58 billion.