Cisco Can’t Get No Respect

Cisco delivered strong earnings and guidance late Tuesday, but investors just couldn’t bring themselves to reward the networking giant.

Cisco lost 1% during Wednesday’s trading session, as investors ignored stellar results and instead fretted about rising inventories and whether a sequential decline in router revenues meant that Juniper was stealing high-end market share.

What it may come down to is that despite a strong report, Cisco remains richly valued, at 34 times earnings and seven times sales. And with earnings growth expected to slow over the next year, that could mean slow going for Cisco investors.

Stocks finished the day mixed, but that was a dramatic improvement from the steep declines the indexes were in just two hours before the market closed.

The Nasdaq lost 5 to 1925, the S&P 500 added 1 to 1097, and the Dow climbed 25 to 10,045. Volume rose to 1.7 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.89 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 17-15 on the NYSE, but decliners led 17-14 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 52% on the NYSE, and 37% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 8-208 on the NYSE, and 21-100 on the Nasdaq.

After the close, blew past estimates with earnings of 13 cents a share.

During the day, Red Envelope fell 10% on its earnings report, but Sycamore gained 3% on its results.

Wireless Facilities rose 3% on a Defense Department contract.

Qualcomm slipped despite raising guidance.

Novell gained 3% on Linux plans.

AT&T edged higher on a contract with Lockheed Martin.

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