Cisco Runs Into High Expectations

Cisco Systems beat estimates for the ninth straight quarter late Tuesday, but investors wanted even more and sent the stock 3% lower in after-hours trading.

Cisco’s earnings of 34 cents a share beat estimates by a penny, and sales rose 21% to $8.9 billion, topping $8.76 billion Thomson Financial forecasts.

But the company’s current quarter guidance of $9.2-$9.3 billion left room to disappoint $9.23 billion estimates. Cisco shares fell more than 5% in late trading after gaining 2% during the day.

Scientific-Atlanta contributed $752 million in sales during the quarter, up 85% from the year-ago quarter.

“The consistency of Cisco’s performance can be attributed to our balanced approach across geographies, products, services, customer segments and new markets,” CFO Dennis Powell said in a statement.

Stocks were mixed during the day, as traders awaited Cisco’s results and the outcome of Wednesday’s Federal Reserve meeting on interest rates.

HP was a standout, gaining 3% after raising guidance. The company will report full results May 16.

aQuantive gained 12% after blowing past estimates, and Sonus , Blue Nile and Diamond also rose on their results.

MicroStrategy fell 11% after missing estimates, and SBA , Photon , Expedia , Powerwave , Rudolph and Answers fell on their results.

The Nasdaq added 1 to 2571, the S&P 500 shed 2 to 1507, and the Dow slipped 4 to 13,309. Volume rose to 2.83 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.02 billion on the Nasdaq. Declining issues led by a 19-13 margin on the NYSE, and 17-12 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 40% on the NYSE, and 59% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 163-25 on the NYSE, and 144-64 on the Nasdaq.

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