Tech

Cisco drops on poor guidance, says China business dropped 25%

Key Points
  • Cisco beat on top and bottom lines.
  • Guidance came in below estimates.
  • The company said it would buy Acacia Communications in the quarter.
Chuck Robbins, CEO of Cisco.
Katie Kramer | CNBC

Cisco shares tumbled on Wednesday after the company reported weaker-than-expected guidance. It had already dropped 4% during the day on a disastrous day for stocks.

Here's what the company reported:

  • Earnings: 83 cents per share, excluding certain items, vs. 82 cents per share as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.
  • Revenue: $13.43 billion, vs. $13.38 billion as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.

In premarket trading Thursday, shares of Cisco were off more than 9%.

Revenue grew 6% on an annualized basis in the quarter, according to a statement.

"We did see in July some slight early indications of some macro shifts that we didn't see in the prior quarter," Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins told analysts on a Wednesday conference call. He said in the quarter Cisco company saw "significant impact" on business in China because of the U.S.-China trade war.

In China, Cisco's revenue was down 25% on an annualized basis in the quarter, Kelly Kramer, the company's chief financial officer, said on the call.

"What we've seen is in the state on enterprises ... we're just being -- we're being uninvited to bid," Robbins said. "We're not being allowed to even participate anymore." Sales to carriers declined more forcefully as well, he said.

The majority of Cisco's revenue comes from sales of data center networking products, including switches and routers. That business is represented by Cisco's Infrastructure Platforms segment, which came up with quarterly revenue of $7.88 billion, above the $7.84 billion consensus among analyst polled by FactSet.

The Applications segment had $1.49 billion in revenue, in line with the $1.49 billion FactSet analyst consensus. Cisco's Security business contributed $714 million in revenue, less than $739.9 million FactSet consensus estimate.

Heading into the report, some analysts expressed concerns about Cisco given storage hardware company NetApp's decision to lower its fiscal-year guidance at the beginning of August.

"We expect a large portion of NetApp's headwinds to have limited implications for Cisco, except for cautious spending from large accounts which we believe Cisco is well positioned to offset through a strong product cycle and broader customer exposure," JP Morgan analysts led by Samik Chatterjee wrote in a Monday note.

Cisco's broad customer base could help the company weather softer macroeconomic conditions, wrote the JP Morgan analysts, who have an overweight rating on Cisco stock.

In the quarter Cisco announced new Wi-Fi products and a plan to acquire Acacia Communications for $2.6 billion.

As for guidance, Cisco said it expects to report 80 to 82 cents in earnings per share, excluding certain items, and flat to 2% revenue growth in the first quarter of its 2020 fiscal year. Analysts polled by Refinitiv were looking for 83 cents in earnings per share, excluding certain items, and $13.40 billion in revenue, or 2.5% growth, for that period.

Shares of the company are up 17% since the beginning of the year.

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