- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 11, 2010

NEW YORK (AP) - Cisco Systems Inc. reported stronger earnings in the latest quarter as its customers continued to catch up on delayed purchases of networking gear, but its CEO said the company was seeing signs of the economic recovery slowing down.

Shares in the world’s largest maker of computer networking gear fell Wednesday as revenue missed Wall Street expectations.

Cisco CEO John Chambers also provided a sales forecast for the new quarter that came in below expectations. The company’s sales are heavily dependent on capital spending at large corporations, phone companies and government agencies across the world, and an uncertain economy means those customers may spend less.

“We’re seeing a large number of mixed signals,” Chambers said. “We think the words ‘unusual uncertainty’ are an accurate description of what’s occurring.”

Cisco said both net income and revenue bounced back from last year’s recessionary levels. Still, analysts were expecting even stronger results after a couple of quarters of Cisco exceeding its own expectations.

Cisco said it earned $1.9 billion, or 33 cents per share, in the fiscal fourth quarter that ended July 31. That’s up 79 percent from $1.1 billion, or 19 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue rose 27 percent to $10.8 billion, just under analysts’ forecasts of $10.9 billion. The company had projected revenue between $10.7 billion and $10.9 billion. Revenue in the quarter last year was $8.5 billion.

In extended trading after the release of the results, Cisco shares fell $1.87, or 7.9 percent, to $21.86. That came on top of regular-session losses of 58 cents to close at $23.73.

Excluding one-time charges and the cost of stock-based compensation, the San Jose, Calif.-based company earned 43 cents per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected 42 cents per share, on average.

Chambers said he expects revenue in the current quarter to rise 18 percent to 20 percent from last year, which works out to $10.65 billion to $10.83 billion. Analysts were expecting $10.95 billion, on average.

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