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Cisco stock drops as higher costs amid chip shortage ding earnings outlook

Cisco Systems Inc. shares dropped in the extended session Wednesday as the company’s earnings outlook fell short of Wall Street expectations because of higher costs from suppliers amid a global semiconductor shortage.

Cisco 
CSCO,
-0.87%

shares plunged 6.5% after hours, following a 0.9% decline in the regular session to close at $52.47.

The maker of network services, videoconferencing tools and security software forecast fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of 81 cents to 83 cents a share on a 6% to 8% year-over-year increase in revenue, or a range between $12.88 billion and $13.13 billion. Analysts surveyed by FactSet estimate 85 cents a share on revenue of $12.85 billion.

On the call with analysts, Chuck Robbins, Cisco’s chief executive and chairman, said the company was experiencing some of the strongest demand in nearly a decade but acknowledged the chip shortage played a factor.

“We’re also seeing similar component shortage supply issues as our peers,” Robbins said. “The good news, and this is reflected in our guidance, is that we are confident we will work through this as we have already put in place revised arrangements with several of our key suppliers.”

“On the supply-chain front, we continue to manage through the constraints seen industry-wide and continue to incur additional costs,” said Scott Herren, Cisco’s chief financial officer, on the call. Herren said those added costs are expected to push Cisco’s adjusted gross margin to the 64% to 65% range, and that he expects supply shortages to continue until the end of 2021.

Meanwhile, the company exceeded Wall Street expectations for the fiscal third quarter. The company reported net income of $2.86 billion, or 68 cents a share, compared with $2.77 billion, or 65 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings, which exclude stock-based compensation expenses and other items, were 83 cents a share, compared with 79 cents a share in the year-ago period.

Revenue rose to $12.8 billion from $11.98 billion in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast 82 cents a share on revenue of $12.57 billion.

For the third quarter, infrastructure sales rose 6% to $6.83 billion and applications sales rose 5% to $1.43 billion, while security sales gained 13% to $876 million from the year-ago period. Analysts had forecast infrastructure sales of $6.76 billion, applications sales of $1.44 billion and security sales of $859.9 million. Product sales gained 6% for $9.14 billion, compared with the Street’s estimate of $9.06 billion, and services revenue rose 8% to $3.66 billion, while analysts expected $3.49 billion.

Over the past 12 months, Cisco shares are up 17% as of Wednesday’s close, compared with a 40% advance by the Dow Jones Industrial Average 
DJIA,
-0.48%
,
 of which Cisco is a component, a 40% rise by the S&P 500 index 
SPX,
-0.29%

 and a 44% gain by the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index 
COMP,
-0.03%
.

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