Cisco Systems reported a quarterly profit and sales Wednesday that rose from year-ago results and beat Wall Street's forecasts.
The San Jose, Calif.-based company said its net income rose 56% to $1.9 billion in its fiscal fourth quarter, which ended in July. Results included one-time charges of 11 cents per share. Without the charges, Cisco earned 47 cents per share.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, who typically exclude one-time items from their estimates, had forecast earnings of 45 cents per share.
Sales rose 4% to $11.7 billion, topping analysts' forecasts of $11.6 billion. Shares of Cisco (CSCO, Fortune 500) rose 5% after hours on the news.
"Our strategy -- delivering intelligent networks and technology architectures, built on integrated products, services and software platforms, to fuel our customers' businesses -- is proving the right long-term strategy for our success," said John Chambers, Cisco's CEO, in a prepared statement.
The company also said Wednesday it would increase its dividend by 75%, as part of its commitment to return half of its free cash flow back to shareholders going forward.
Cisco has an enormous cash hoard of $48.7 billion, and shareholders had been clamoring for the company to dole more of that out. The dividend was increased to 14 cents per share and will begin being paid out on Oct. 24. Following the increase, Cisco's dividend would yield about 3.2%, one of the highest in the tech industry.
Fears of worsening economies in Europe and China have hit Cisco and its rivals particularly hard this year though. Shares of Juniper Networks (JNPR), Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) and F5 Networks (FFIV) are all down in 2012 even as the broader tech sector has rallied. To top of page
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