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Cisco Q1 Tops Forecasts

November 13, 2020

Cisco reported first quarter results for the period ended October 24, 2020. Cisco reported first quarter revenue of $11.9 billion, net income on a generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) basis of $2.2 billion or $0.51 per share, and non-GAAP net income of $3.2 billion or $0.76 per share.

Wall Street was only expecting earnings of 70 cents per share and revenue of 11.85 billion.

"Cisco is off to a solid start in fiscal 2021 and we are encouraged by the signs of improvement in our business as we continue to navigate the pandemic and other macro uncertainties," said Chuck Robbins, chairman and CEO of Cisco. "Our focus is on winning with a differentiated innovative portfolio, long-term growth and being a trusted technology partner offering choice and flexibility to our customers. We see many great opportunities ahead as every company in every industry is accelerating its digital-first strategy."

"Our Q1 results reflect good execution with strong margins in a challenging environment," said Kelly Kramer, CFO of Cisco. "We continued to transform our business through more software offerings and subscriptions, driving 10% year over year growth in remaining performance obligations. We delivered strong growth in operating cash flow and returned $2.3 billion to shareholders."

Q1 FY 2021 Highlights

Revenue -- Total revenue was $11.9 billion, down 9%, with product revenue down 13% and service revenue up 2%. Revenue by geographic segment was: Americas down 10%, EMEA down 10%, and APJC down 7%. Product revenue was led by growth in Security, up 6%.  Infrastructure Platforms was down 16% and Applications was down 8%.

Gross Margin --  On a GAAP basis, total gross margin, product gross margin, and service gross margin were 63.6%, 62.7%, and 65.8%, respectively, as compared with 64.3% for each in the first quarter of fiscal 2020.

On a non-GAAP basis, total gross margin, product gross margin, and service gross margin were 65.8%, 65.3%, and 67.1%, respectively, as compared with 65.9%, 66.1%, and 65.4%, respectively, in the first quarter of fiscal 2020.

Total gross margins by geographic segment were: 67.3% for the Americas, 63.9% for EMEA and 63.0% for APJC.

Operating Expenses --  On a GAAP basis, operating expenses were $5.0 billion, up 3%, and were 42.0% of revenue. Non-GAAP operating expenses were $4.0 billion, down 7%, and were 33.1% of revenue.

Operating Income -- GAAP operating income was $2.6 billion, down 28%, with GAAP operating margin of 21.5%. Non-GAAP operating income was $3.9 billion, down 12%, with non-GAAP operating margin at 32.7%.

Provision for Income Taxes -- The GAAP tax provision rate was 18.9%. The non-GAAP tax provision rate was 19.0%.

Net Income and EPS -- On a GAAP basis, net income was $2.2 billion, a decrease of 26%, and EPS was $0.51, a decrease of 25%. On a non-GAAP basis, net income was $3.2 billion, a decrease of 11%, and EPS was $0.76, a decrease of 10%.

Cash Flow from Operating Activities -- $4.1 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2021, an increase of 14% compared with $3.6 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2020.

Balance Sheet and Other Financial Highlights

Cash and Cash Equivalents and Investments -- $30.0 billion at the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2021, compared with $29.4 billion at the end of fiscal 2020.

Deferred Revenue -- $20.5 billion, up 10% in total, with deferred product revenue up 15%. Deferred service revenue was up 7%.

Remaining Performance Obligations -- $27.5 billion at the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2021, up 10%.

Capital Allocation -- In the first quarter of fiscal 2021, we returned $2.3 billion to shareholders through share buybacks and dividends. We declared and paid a cash dividend of $0.36 per common share, or $1.5 billion, and repurchased approximately 20 million shares of common stock under our stock repurchase program at an average price of $40.44 per share for an aggregate purchase price of $800 million. The remaining authorized amount for stock repurchases under the program is $10.0 billion with no termination date.

Guidance for Q2 FY 2021

Cisco expects to achieve the following results for the second quarter of fiscal 2021:

Q2 FY 2021

   

Revenue

 

0% - (2)% decline Y/Y

Non-GAAP gross margin rate

 

64% - 65%

Non-GAAP operating margin rate

 

32% - 33%

Non-GAAP tax provision rate

 

19%

Non-GAAP EPS

 

$0.74 - $0.76

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