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Stock Analyst Update

Cisco Ends Q2 With Record Backlog; Lifting FVE to $56

Cisco continues to be a firm we consider shareholder-centric and a solid operator, and we view its decision to up its quarterly dividend and greatly increase its buyback authorization positively.

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We are raising our fair value estimate for narrow-moat Cisco Systems (CSCO) to $56 per share from $54 after its second-quarter revenue growth and earnings came in slightly higher than our expectations. Our increase is driven by expecting a marginally higher long-term growth profile as Cisco transitions toward more software and subscription sales. Cisco's shares, which rose slightly in afterhours trading, are fairly valued, in our view. We think Cisco is aptly positioned to benefit from organizations requiring networking and security upgrades to facilitate hybrid working and cloud architectures, but expect normalized demand to eventually slow the robust revenue growth currently being experienced. Cisco continues to be a firm we consider shareholder-centric and a solid operator, and we view its decision to up its quarterly dividend and greatly increase its buyback authorization positively.

Cisco ended the second quarter with a record product backlog of $14 billion as a challenging supply chain environment hampers the ability to ship. Product orders increased 33% year over year, led by service providers expanding by 42%. As we have seen with Cisco's networking peers, the voracious demand is coming from hyperscale cloud providers expanding and upgrading their data centers as well as telecom providers expanding the networking infrastructure for 5G.

Revenue grew by 6% year over year, with product up 9% and services down 1%. Secure, agile networks grew sales 7% year over year, with broad-based demand across data center switching, campus switching, and wireless. We expect strength to continue in this group as organizations refresh their networking architectures for hybrid working and hybrid clouds as well as upgrading wireless solutions to Wi-Fi 6. The Internet for the future business was up 42% year over year, led by webscale cloud customers embracing Cisco's disaggregation of hardware, software, and silicon, as well as customers migrating to 400 Gb networking speeds.

 

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Mark Cash does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.