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RealTime IT News

Cisco Comfortable With Estimates

Cisco Systems Inc. is comfortable with financial analysts' estimates of both a fiscal first-quarter profit and revenues of $4.16 billion, the chief executive officer (CEO) of the world's largest manufacturer of Internet networking equipment said.

Cisco CEO John Chambers made his comments today at Goldman Sachs' Communacopia X Conference. Reuters quoted Chambers as saying while the company experienced some interruptions in orders after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, business has picked up in the weeks after the actions. Chambers also said orders were on target from June through September.

The consensus of a number of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call expect Cisco to earn $0.02 a share in its first quarter. The company's revenues are forecast to hit $4.16 billion, First Call also said.

Chambers would not gaze into a crystal ball to forecast his company's performance, because of unpredictability. The worldwide economy is in an economic slowdown, "the likes of which we've never seen before," he said.

Cisco is expected to announce its first-quarter results in early November.

Cisco's positive comments helped to bring the Dow and Nasdaq indexes higher as of mid-afternoon today. The Dow was up 141 points to 9090, while the Nasdaq was higher by 90 points to 1582.

Besides the news from Cisco, the stock market rallied in the wake of positive economic data and news that the Bush administration may give the U.S. financial system a much-needed boost.

The non-manufacturing business activity index rose to 50.2 in September from 45.5 in August, according to the National Association of Purchasing Management. The August number marked a record four-year low. Experts had expected to see the index at 43, according to press reports.

Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, meantime, said a congressional aid package to boost the economy after last month's attacks could reach $60 billion to $75 billion -- that's on top of assistance already okayed by Congress, including tax rebates pushed by President Bush and approved by Congress earlier this year.