Cisco, Symantec Earnings Top Forecasts

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) and Symantec (NASDAQ: CSCO) reported quarterly earnings late Wednesday that beat Wall Street forecasts, but neither company’s shares had much to show for it.

Cisco reported earnings of 30 cents a share, 5 cents better than the Thomson Reuters forecast, on a 17% decline in sales to $8.16 billion, better than the $8.07 billion expected by analysts.

The company said it’s seeing signs of stabilization for the first time in several quarters, and its current quarter forecast for a 17-20% year-over-year sales decline is potentially better than the 20.3% decline that analysts anticipate. Cisco’s shares gained 2% in after-hours trading on the news.

After factoring out a sizable impairment charge, Symantec beat earnings estimates by 3 cents with non-GAAP earnings of 38 cents a share, but its sales of $1.49 billion, down 4% from the year-ago quarter, were below $1.52 billion forecasts. The company’s current-quarter earnings guidance was in line with Wall Street forecasts, but sales could potentially come in below estimates. Symantec’s shares dropped 4% in late trading.

Stocks rose during the day on an ADP employment report that showed the first improvement in six months. Hopes that banks may be better off than thought also boosted the stock market. The government’s bank “stress tests” will be released late Thursday, and the Labor Department will report its monthly jobs report on Friday.

Vignette (NASDAQ: VIGN) soared 34% on news that it will be acquired by Open Text (NASDAQ: OTEX), while Borland (NASDAQ: BORL) surged 23% on news that it will merge with UK-based Micro Focus.

Atmel (NASDAQ: ATML), Garmin (NASDAQ: GRMN) and BigBand Networks (NASDAQ: BBND) slumped on their results.

The Nasdaq rose 4 to 1759, the S&P 500 gained 15 to 919, and the Dow climbed 101 to 8512. Volume rose to 8.6 billion shares on the NYSE, and 3 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by a 26-10 margin on the NYSE, and 15-12 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 76% on the NYSE, and 60% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 35-90 on the NYSE, and 31-21 on the Nasdaq.

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