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Cisco Systems Beats Earnings Estimates, Raises 2008 Guidance

A fountain is shown at the entrance to Cisco Systems headquarters in San Jose, California.
Paul Sakuma
A fountain is shown at the entrance to Cisco Systems headquarters in San Jose, California.

Cisco Systems reported fourth-quarter earnings slightly above analysts' expectations and raised its long-term revenue target as more companies bought equipment to handle Web traffic.

The San Jose, Calif.-based company posted adjusted earnings of 36 cents a share, up from earnings of 30 cents a share reported in the year-ago quarter.

Sales rose 18% to $9.4 billion.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson predicted earnings of 35 cents a share on revenue of $9.3 billion.

"Cisco delivered another record quarter with great execution across the company," said CEO John Chambers, in a prepared statement.

Cisco shares rose more than 5% in after-hours trading after the company said it expects sales to grow 13% to 16% in fiscal 2008, which tracks above Wall Street's current consensus estimate of 14%.

The company also raised its long-term revenue growth target to between 12% and 17% growth year-on-year, from a previous range of 10% to 15%.

"The numbers are pretty solid," RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Sue told CNBC. "At this point, considering the outlook and the execution and the market share gains, we would be buyers of Cisco."

The analyst said Cisco's growth is being fueled by emerging markets and service provider spending.

"There's a big war going on with the cable operators and the telcos and Cisco is selling a lot of equipment," Sue said.

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