UPDATE 2-Cisco cutting 4,000 jobs, CEO sees 'slow' progress
(Adds job cuts, fiscal Q1 forecasts, updates share drop)
Aug 14 (Reuters) - Network equipment maker Cisco Systems Inc said on Wednesday it would cut 4,000 jobs, or 5 percent of its workforce, as it looks to reduce costs and refocus on growth areas as it faces uncertain demand for its networking equipment.
"The environment in terms of our business is improving slightly but nowhere near the pace that we want," said Chief Executive John Chambers on a conference call following its quarterly earnings.
Shares of the world's biggest network equipment maker fell 9 percent after hours.
Cisco forecast 3 percent to 5 percent revenue growth this quarter, toward the low end of expectations, as it continues to grapple with an uncertain global IT spending environment.
Executives also forecast on Wednesday earnings-per-share of 50 cents to 51 cents in its fiscal current quarter. Earlier, Cisco reported fiscal fourth-quarter revenue in line with Wall Street expectations.
Cisco Chief Executive John Chambers commentary on the global corporate IT environment is closely watched by investors, as Cisco is regarded a strong indicator of the general health of the technology industry because of its broad customer base.
The company's forecast for current-quarter revenue growth translated into a range of $12.2 billion to $12.5 billion. Analysts on average had expected $12.5 billion.
Cisco had a net profit of $2.3 billion, or 42 cents per share, in the fourth quarter. That compared with a profit of $1.9 billion, or 36 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.
Revenue rose 6 percent to $12.4 billion, matching analysts' expectations, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Excluding some items, the company reported profit of 52 cents per share, which was a penny better than analysts' average estimate.
The results were in line with the company's forecasts three months ago, based on what it called "encouraging" signs.
(Reporting by Bill Rigby, Editing by Bernard Orr)