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Earnings Preview: Will Cisco wrap the year up in style?

Networking giant Cisco Systems (CSCO) is scheduled to report its fourth-quarter results after the bell on August 15. The company has been in the transition phase moving from a traditional network-based firm to a more stable and steady revenue flowing software-based provider.

Cisco has been reporting growth in sales for the past two quarters and analysts would expect the trend to continue in the fourth quarter. Analysts expect the networking provider to report earnings of $0.68 per share on sales of $12.77 billion. Last quarter, the company guided the fourth quarter earnings to be between $0.68 and $0.70 per share along with revenue growth of 4% to 6%.

In August, Cisco acquired Duo Security for $2.35 billion which would be beneficial to offer cloud-based security-related services to its clients. Analysts will be expecting the management to shed more light on the deal and how it is going to benefit in the immediate future in line with its business model shift.

For the third quarter, the company reported earnings of $0.66 per share on revenues of $12.5 billion, which topped analyst estimates on both the earnings and revenue front. Growth in revenues was aided by a double-digit increase in applications and security front. It’s worth noting that Cisco expects to garner at least 50% of revenues from the applications front by 2020. To achieve the 2020 goal, the company might look for bolt-on deals which would augur well to accomplish its milestone.

Related: Cisco Q3 results

Other key aspects to look for in the fourth quarter would be how product orders are shaping up from its enterprise customers. Besides, how the company fares on the traditional networking, routing and switching side as it faces stiff competition from the likes of Juniper Networks, HP Enterprise, and Huawei.

Cisco’s stock has risen about 15% in 2018 hitting a new 52-week high of $46.37 in July this year and has seen a 38% jump in the last 12 months.

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