CiscoSystems' first-quarter earnings signaled the beginning of an economic turnaround—specifically in the US, where business was flat after three straight quarters of decline, CEO John Chambers told CNBC Thursday.
"There's no doubt that you're seeing progression in an economic recovery," he said. "How long it lasts remains to be seen."
Chambers said that while there are a number of companies that are still struggling — specifically in the consumer sector — and unemployment remains high, his company has grown 10 percent year-over-year. Looking at the numbers from previous quarters, it's "undeniable" that the start of a recovery is underway.
"We're at phase one of perhaps a four or five phase recovery," he said. "That phase one's picking up steam."
The computer-networking equipment maker on Wednesday posted a stronger-than-expected profit for the first quarter, and Chambers said he expects revenue for the current quarter also beat Wall Street expectations.
Revenue in the fiscal first quarter, which ended Oct. 24, fell 13 percent from a year earlier to $9 billion. But that was up 6 percent quarter on quarter and higher than the average Wall Street forecast of $8.7 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.
The company forecast fiscal second quarter revenue would increase by 1 percent to 4 percent from a year earlier, or a rise of 2 percent to 5 percent compared with the first quarter. The average Wall Street estimate for the second quarter had implied a revenue decline of 1.3 percent year on year.
Cisco is the world's top vendor of routers, switches and other network equipment used by global businesses, including telephone companies, as well as governments.