Cisco to Cut 6,000 More Jobs as Forecast Falls Flat

Layoffs represent 8% of workforce and follow another quarter of declining results.

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Cisco Systems forecast lukewarm current quarter results and announced it will slash another 6,000 jobs, as the network equipment titan works through a transition toward a new cycle of high-end switches and routers.

The latest round of layoffs is at least the third workforce reduction in about as many years for a company once synonymous with the Internet boom, but which has lately struggled to sustain growth, Reuters reports.

The company announced in August 2013 that it would cut 4,000 jobs. And in 2011, it said it planned to reduce its workforce by more than 11,000.

“The market doesn’t wait for anyone. We are going to lead it, period,” Cisco CEO John Chambers told analysts on a conference call this week. “The ability to do that requires some tough decisions. We will manage our costs aggressively and drive efficiencies.”

Chambers partly blamed the cuts on the uncertainty in global demand. In emerging markets, where the company faces sluggish sales and increased competition, Cisco saw continued challenges. China product orders fell 23%, and Brazil had 13% declines.

“Unfortunately, as we look out, we don’t see emerging markets growth returning for several quarters and believe it could get worse,” said Chambers.

Total product orders rose 1%, with 2% growth in both the Americas and Europe, the Middle East and Africa, offset by a 7% decline in Asia and Pacific.

Cisco’s high-end routers and switches declined 7% and 4% year-over-year, respectively, as customers were slow to order a new series of products. Its data center revenues rose 30%, and security sector revenues rose 29%.

Security revenue was boosted by the acquisition of SourceFire, a cyber-security firm Cisco acquired in October 2013.

Cisco also forecast earnings per share of between 51 cents and 53 cents for its current, fiscal first quarter. It predicted flat to 1% growth in revenue for the period.

Cisco posted a smaller-than-expected 0.5% dip in fiscal fourth-quarter revenue to $12.4 billion. Wall Street on average had expected $12.1 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

That beat the company’s previous guidance for a decline in revenue of between 1% and 3% for the quarter.

Cisco reported a net profit of $2.8 billion in the fiscal fourth quarter, flat from the year-ago quarter and adjusted earnings of 55 cents per share. That exceeded the consensus forecast of 53 cents.

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