Cisco CEO Robbins: We are optimistic about tax reform

  • CEO Chuck Robbins said the company has been taking on debt "to a certain point" in the absence of domestic cash.
  • Cisco is one of the top five companies that stand to benefit from tax reform, he said.
  • Cisco reported first quarter results Wednesday that surpassed Wall Street estimates.
Chuck Robbins
Katie Kramer | CNBC
Chuck Robbins

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins said he's "optimistic" about tax reform, and said that his company is one of the top five companies that would benefit from its passage.

"We see increased M&A. We see investments in innovation, innovation centers. We see the ability to do, obviously, dividends and buybacks as well. So we'll leverage the cash across all aspects of our capital strategy," Robbins told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" Friday.

Robbins said the company has been taking on debt "to a certain point" in the absence of domestic cash.

"The territorial tax system just gives us more flexibility to move cash around as we need it depending on where we need to put it to use," Robbins said. "And the place we like to put it to use is in the United States."

Robbins said he didn't expect to see "de-levering", or the dissolving of debt, as companies seek to increase total spending capacity.

Cisco stock jumped Thursday after earnings and revenue beats. The company reported first quarter results that surpassed Wall Street estimates, dampened by higher pricing and legal settlements.

The report revealed a more concrete push into security and cloud software, bolstered by a project with Google.

The stock is trading nearly 19 percent up this year, at its highest levels since 2001.

--CNBC's Anita Balakrishnan contributed to this report.