Cisco denies new job cuts report

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Cisco Systems Inc CSCO.O said on Friday it was not in a new round of layoffs in response to an analyst report referring to 2,000 job cuts underway.

Pedestrians walks past the headquarters of Cisco Systems Inc. in San Jose, California May 6, 2008. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

Thomas Weisel analyst Hasan Imam had said in a report that job cuts would help Cisco exceed cost cutting targets.

“The Thomas Weisel report today gives the impression that Cisco is announcing a new headcount reduction of up to 2,000 jobs. That is not the case,” said Cisco spokesman Terry Alberstein.

Alberstein said Imam appeared to be referring to plans for job cuts of between 1,500 and 2,000 that Cisco announced during its quarterly conference call in February. He said the company was still cutting those jobs.

Imam was not immediately available to comment on Cisco’s response.

Imam also said he expected an expansion of the company’s cost cutting plans beyond $1 billion. Alberstein declined further comment on Cisco’s cost cutting, but pointed to comments the company made in early May that it was on track to exceed an earlier goal of cutting annual expenses by $1 billion and could even exceed $1.5 billion.

“Our checks indicate Cisco is aggressively managing expenses as management navigates through the downturn,” Imam said in the research report.

The analyst said he also expects July quarter revenue to beat the average Wall Street estimate.

“Our supply chain checks reveal order uptick across component and contract manufacturers, indicating stabilization and some growth in Cisco’s top line,” he said.

Imam raised his calendar 2010 forecast for Cisco to earnings of $1.44 per share on revenue of $35.82 billion. His previous estimate was earnings of $1.41 per share on revenue of $34.88 billion.

Cisco shares were up 20 cents or about 1 percent at $18.37 in afternoon trading on Nasdaq.

Reporting by Sinead Carew; editing by Andre Grenon