Cisco posts smaller-than-expected drop in quarterly revenue, shares rise

FILE PHOTO: A man passes under a Cisco logo at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain February 25, 2019. REUTERS/Sergio Perez

(Reuters) - Cisco Systems Inc CSCO.O on Thursday reported a smaller-than-expected drop in first-quarter revenue as more people working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic drove demand for its teleconferencing tools, networking equipment and cybersecurity products.

Shares of the telecom equipment maker, which also said Scott Herren will succeed Kelly Kramer as chief financial officer starting Dec. 18, surged nearly 9% in extended trading.

After the coronavirus-driven lockdowns started earlier this year, demand for the company’s videoconferencing platform Webex, virtual private network AnyConnect and cybersecurity products surged as offices remained shut with more people working remotely.

The company’s revenue fell 9% to $11.93 billion (£9.10 billion) in the quarter ended Oct. 24.

The fall was slowed by the strength in its services segment, helping it beat analysts’ estimates of $11.85 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Excluding items, Cisco earned 76 cents per share while analysts expected profit of 70 cents per share.

Reporting by Chavi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber