Cisco Back in Black with Strong Earnings

Actual numbers are ahead of Wall Street guesses.

The numbers are in for one of the most widely held stocks:  Cisco Systems revenue is a bit above Wall Street expectations; earnings per share are also ahead of the guesstimates -- both good news for stockholders.

An added bonus: Cisco also announced a boost in the cash dividend it pays to investors.

Cisco (CSCO) is really at a crossroads. The company recently admitted that its famous growth was slowing, and it announced a widespread set of layoffs aimed at cutting costs.  Cisco has not been the flag-bearer for the tech industry in many years, but it's been a consistent cash generator, and has tried to broaden its portfolio, all things that investors like.

CEO John Chambers is also being watched closely.  He's a Silicon Valley legend, and while earning his accolades, has also been asked by some investors, "What have you done for me lately?"

This gives him a chance to respond.

Do you still hold Cisco? Scott can be found on Twitter: @scottbudman

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