Cisco on Wednesday reported fourth quarter financial results slightly ahead of expectations. The networking giant reported double-digit order growth across all customer markets and geographies, including product order growth of 31 percent — its strongest year-over-year growth in over a decade.
Cisco’s Q4 non-GAAP earnings per share came to 84 cents on revenue of $13.1 billion up 8% year-over-year.
For the full fiscal year, Cisco’s non-GAAP EPS was flat year-over-year. Revenue was $49.8 billion, up 1% year-over-year.
Wall Street was expecting fourth quarter earnings of 82 cents per share on revenue of $13.03 billion.
“We continue to see great momentum in our business as customers are looking to modernize their organizations for agility and resiliency,” CEO Chuck Robbins said in a statement. “The demand for Cisco technology is strong with our Q4 performance marking the highest product order growth in over a decade. With the power of our portfolio, we are well positioned to help our customers accelerate their digital transformation and thrive in a hybrid world.”
The product order growth also coincides with supply chain challenges hitting Cisco and other IT companies, which has prompted Cisco to respond with “strategic price increases.”
“Looking ahead, we expect the supply challenges and cost impacts to continue through at least the first half of our fiscal year and potentially into the second half,” CEO Chuck Robbins said on a conference call Wednesday.
That said, the CEO added that there’s no evidence that this is causing customers to order ahead of their needs.
“We certainly think customers are placing orders further in advance because of lead times, which is just logical,” Robbins said. “When you see the order growth in Q4 and then you see the forecast pipeline that we see going forward, it would suggest there’s a fair amount of demand out there.”
Cisco reported continued momentum in transforming the business to delivering more software and subscriptions. It achieved $4 billion in software revenue in Q4 (an increase of 6% with subscription revenue up 9% year-over-year) and $15 billion for the year (an increase of 7% with subscription revenue up 15% year-over-year).
Overall, product revenue in the fourth quarter was up 10% year-over-year, totaling $9.72 billion. Within that category, security revenue was up 1% to $823 million. Revenue from infrastructure platforms 13% to $7.55 billion, while applications revenue was down 1% to $1.34 billion. Revenue from “other products” declined 42% to $4 million.
Service revenue in Q4 was up 3% year-over-year, reaching $3.41 billion.
Deferred revenue in Q4 was $22.2 billion, up 8% in total, with deferred product revenue up 19%. Deferred service revenue was up 2%.
The remaining Performance Obligations came to $30 billion at the end of Q4, up 9%.
For the first quarter, Cisco expects revenue growth of 7.5% to 9.5% year-over-year. For the full fiscal 2022, it expects revenue growth of 5% to 7% year-over-year.
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