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Cisco shares slide 5% as guidance disappoints

Cisco Systems reported quarterly results that topped analysts' expectations on Thursday after the bell, but gave disappointing guidance for its current quarter driven by lower-than-expected order growth and foreign exchange rates.

The networking giant posted fiscal first-quarter earnings of 59 cents per share on $12.68 billion in revenue. Profit and sales rose 9 percent and 4 percent from the previous year, respectively.

Analysts expected Cisco to post earnings of 56 cents per share on $12.65 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters. Cisco shares were down 5.3 percent midmorning Friday. (Click here to follow the stock.)

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Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins told CNBC on Friday he was pleased with the company's performance in what he called "a tough macro environment."

"We had a very solid quarter with 4 percent top-line growth, 9 percent EPS, very strong gross margins, as well as operating margins at a nine-year high," he told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street." "As we guided Q2, we obviously guided down, but we also guided a reasonable growth quarter."

Cisco said it expects fiscal second-quarter sales will be in a range of flat to up 2 percent year over year. Robbins cited "the uncertainty of the macro environment and currency impacts."

Robbins, who took over the post this summer from John Chambers, has presided over a string of acquisition offers as Cisco looks to unlock growth in new segments. Since late September, Cisco has announced its intent to buy four companies — security firms Portcullis and Lancope, data analytics player ParStream and most recently video software company 1 Mainstream.

Cisco has more than $2 billion invested in start-ups around the world, and investors should expect the company to engage in more strategic partnerships in the future, Robbins told CNBC.

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Sales climbed 4.3 percent in fiscal 2015, and revenue growth has not topped 8 percent for five straight years.

It projects non-GAAP earnings of 53 to 55 cents per share in the quarter.

"They are setting some conservative expectations but this is also indicative of some execution challenges," said Erik Suppiger, a JMP Securities analyst who has a "hold" rating on Cisco.

First-quarter sales from data centers rose 24 percent from the year before to $859 million. Revenue in its largest segment, switching, climbed 5 percent to $4.02 billion.

But sales in its second-largest business, routing, declined 8 percent from the previous year to $1.79 billion.

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Robbins said the decline was due to a order timing issue, and Cisco expects the business to be in "pretty good shape" in the coming quarters.

— CNBC's Ari Levy contributed to this report.