Solid quarter sees Cisco hike dividend 75pc

City A.M. Reporter
CISCO Systems last night offered little hope that dire economic conditions in Europe would come to an end any time soon but pleased investors with a 75 per cent dividend hike as the company posted quarterly results that beat estimates.

The world’s largest network equipment maker had spooked investors three months ago, when chief executive John Chambers cautioned that macroeconomic conditions in Europe could hurt technology spending.

Cisco’s fourth-quarter results beat estimates, thanks to cost savings and a continuing restructuring programme.

Quarterly net income, excluding items, was $2.5bn (£1.6bn) or 47 cents per share, compared with analysts’ average estimate of 45 cents a share. Revenue rose four per cent from the year-ago quarter to $11.7bn, compared with expectations of $11.61bn.

The San Jose, California-based company also said its dividend will rise to 14 cents per share in the first quarter of fiscal 2013 and that it plans to return a minimum of 50 per cent of free cash flow annually through dividends and share repurchases.