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Cisco’s security business revenue misses estimates, shares drop

(Reuters) – Cisco Systems Inc’s (CSCO.O1) quarterly revenue in its closely-watched security business missed analysts’ estimates, raising concerns about the world’s largest networking gear maker’s efforts to transform into a software-focused company.

The company’s shares fell about 2.5 percent in after-hours trading on Wednesday.

With its traditional business of making switches and routers struggling, Cisco, like other legacy technology firms, has been focusing on high-growth areas such as security, the Internet of Things and cloud computing.

The security business, which offers firewall protection and breach detection systems, has been Cisco’s fastest growing, until the last two quarter.

Revenue growth at the business slowed to 3 percent in the latest fourth quarter from 16 percent a year earlier and 9 percent in the previous quarter.

Chief Executive Chuck Robbins, the architect of Cisco’s transformation plan, said he had “zero concerns” about the security business, while Chief Financial Officer Kelly Kramer forecast an uptick in revenue in the next quarter.

Analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy said the next two quarter would indicate the health of the security business.

“I’m not concerned yet with Cisco’s security numbers as many of their security innovations are linked to other businesses like switching,” he said.

Cisco’s switches and routers businesses easily its two biggest have been struggling due to sluggish demand from telecom carriers and enterprise customers.

Revenue in each of the two businesses fell 9 percent in the quarter, missing analysts’ expectations, according to financial and data analytics firm FactSet.

While security business revenue of $558 million fell short of analysts estimates of $580.5 million, according to FactSet, Cisco’s overall revenue was supported by its data center business and wireless business, which is now is fastest growing.

Cisco’s overall revenue fell for the seventh straight quarter, but the near 4 percent decline to $12.13 billion was in line analysts’ estimates of $12.1 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Cisco’s net income fell 13.8 percent to $2.42 billion, or 48 cents per share .

Excluding one-time items, it earned 61 cents per share, matching analysts’ estimates.

The company expects revenue to fall 1 percent to 3 percent in the current quarter .

That was in line with Wall Street’s expectations, as was Cisco’s adjusted earnings forecast.

Cisco’s stock has gained about 7 percent so far this year, well below the near 24 percent gain in the S&P 500 technology index .SPLRCT and a 10.2 percent increase in the S&P 500 .SPX2.

Reporting by Laharee Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza

References

  1. ^ CSCO.O (uk.reuters.com)
  2. ^ .SPX (uk.reuters.com)

Leeds Festival security has been increased ‘dramatically’

Leeds Festival boss Melvin Benn today reassured music lovers that this year s event will be the safest ever – after working closely with police anti-terrorist experts to dramatically increase security. It follows the recent spate of terrorist attacks, not least of all the suicide bombing which killed 22 people and injured more than 100 others at American singer Ariana Grande s Manchester Arena gig. But while bag searches may take a little longer, festival-goers should get on site faster after an investment in extra training, resources and bigger entry lanes, he said. The biggest change will be allowing only A4-sized bags into the main arena itself – which is now common practice at most concert venues. Backstage security will also be tighter than ever with sniffer dogs used on production vehicles at the venue in Bramham Park. The measures apply to his Leeds and Reading double header festivals – both on August 25 to 27 – where this year s big names include Eminem, Kasabian, Muse and ex-Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher. For tickets, updates, safety information and more visit www.leedsfestival.com

Melvin, managing director of Festival Republic, produced the One Love Manchester benefit concert which raised over 10m in response to the attack – bringing together artists including Coldplay, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and Take That. He said they have learned an enormous amount about improving security at that and other events. There has also been a swift culture change in concert-goers embracing new measures, including reducing what they take into events to speed up entry queues, he said.

We are providing an environment that is as safe as is possible, he said. Trust me, we are working with terrorism experts in West Yorkshire Police, Thames Valley Police and up and down the country. Our security provision has gone up very dramatically .

We are investing in a huge amount of extra training and resources in order to provide that reassurance . In the main there won t be much more additional delay . We will put extra resource in to make the lanes bigger and people will be able to come through faster. He added: The big change really will be in terms of the arena – we will only be allowing in bags the size of an A4 sheet of paper . That will allow people to bring a rain mac or a bottle of water, or a sandwich. There will be sniffer dogs used on production vehicles coming in.

What we are doing, very rapidly, is changing the culture and people are embracing it.

We are in a changed world . But we re not giving in to any of these threats or demands or anything like that, we are just working through it.