Cisco shares plunged by as much as 17% in extended trading on Wednesday after the networking company said it generated lower quarterly revenue than analysts predicted and called for an unexpected sales decline in the current period.
Here’s how the company did:
- Earnings: 87 cents per share, adjusted, vs. 86 cents per share as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.
- Revenue: $12.84 billion, vs. $13.34 billion as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.
Cisco’s revenue was roughly flat year over year in the quarter, which ended on April 30, according to a statement. The year-ago quarter included an extra week. Net income, at $3.04 billion, rose by 6%. In the previous quarter, revenue grew by 6%.
China’s Covid lockdown and the war between Russia and Ukraine weakened Cisco’s revenue in the quarter, CEO Chuck Robbins said in the statement. The war reduced revenue by about $200 million, and it added $5 million to Cisco’s cost of sales in the quarter and $62 million in operating expenses, according to the statement.
The lockdown, meanwhile, worsened component shortages, Robbins said on a conference call with analysts.
For the fiscal fourth quarter, Cisco called for 76 cents to 84 cents in adjusted earnings per share and a year-over-year decline in revenue of 1% to 5.5%. Analysts polled by Refinitiv had been looking for earnings of 92 cents per share on $13.87 billion in revenue, or growth of about 6%. The guidance range is wider than usual because of the increasingly complex environment, Robbins said.
“We believe that our revenue performance in the upcoming quarters is less dependent on-demand and more dependent on the supply availability in this increasingly complex environment,” he said.
Other networking vendors tumbled following Cisco’s results. Arista Networks dropped 6%, Juniper plummeted 10%, Ciena fell about 9% and F5 slid more than 3% after the close of regular trading.
“To give a sense of scale of the shortages we currently see constraints in Q4 on roughly 350 critical components out of a total of 41,000 unique component part numbers,” Scott Herren, Cisco’s finance chief, said on the call. “Our supply chain team is aggressively pursuing multiple options to close those shortages.”
In China Cisco faces various points of uncertainty, Robbins said.
“Shanghai now is saying they are going to open up June 1,” he said. “We don’t know exactly what that means and what that means to when that implies that we would start getting any supply out, and correspondingly, we believe when they open up and when they do allow transportation logistics to start-up we believe there’s go being to be a high degree of congestion.
“We believe there’s going to be lots of competition for ports capacity, airport capacity, and we just believe that that combined with the inbound efforts trying to get raw materials back into the country, etc. We just believe that it’s going to be impossible for us to catch up on this issue in Q4, which is what led to the guidance in Q4.”
But the impact wasn’t limited to hardware. Software revenue, at $3.7 billion, was down 3% year over year. Herren said the growth would have been 5 points higher if it hadn’t been for the war in Ukraine and the impact of the extra week in the year-ago quarter.
Cisco said its Secure, Agile Networks segment, which includes data-center networking switches, contributed $5.87 billion in revenue. That represents 4% growth, and it’s lower than the $6.09 billion consensus among analysts polled by StreetAccount.
Cisco’s Internet for the Future unit, which contains routed optical networking hardware the company picked up through its 2021 Acacia Communications acquisition, contributed $1.32 billion, up 6% and below the $1.44 billion StreetAccount consensus.
The Collaboration segment that includes Webex collaboration software kicked in revenue of $1.13 billion, down 7% and in line with the StreetAccount consensus of $1.13 billion.
As of the close, Cisco shares were 23% since the start of the year, while the S&P 500 has dropped about 18% over the same period. Should the stock drop by more than 16.2% on Thursday, it would be the steepest single-day decline since a 17.7% plunge in July 1994 and the third biggest on record.
— CNBC’s Ari Levy contributed to this report.
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