Cisco revenue inched up in Q4

Cisco Systems posted a small sales gain of 4 percent and a larger boost in profit for its fiscal fourth quarter on Wednesday.

The company's revenue hit US$11.7 billion for the quarter ended July 12, up 4 percent from a year earlier. Its net income rose 56 percent from the year-earlier quarter, to $1.9 billion. Cisco earned $0.36 per share.

Economic woes in Europe continue to weigh on the global outlook for the tech industry, Chairman and CEO John Chambers said on a conference call to discuss the results. Cisco's unit orders for Europe, the Middle East and Africa fell 6 percent in the fourth quarter.

"It will be as tough as you're hearing" in Europe, Chambers said. Among other factors, the major European service providers don't expect to make major capital expenditures in the second half of this year, he said.

Cisco said it did see some signs of growth in the U.S., though those might not signal a continuing trend, Chambers said.

Revenue from Cisco's core businesses of switching and routing was relatively flat overall, and its collaboration business saw an 8 percent decline, led by falling Telepresence videoconferencing revenue. Strong points included the Unified Computing System server platform, which saw order growth of 58 percent, and wireless, with revenue up 22 percent. Service-provider rollouts of Wi-Fi hotspots are now in full swing, helping to drive wireless growth, Chambers said.