Cisco announced its fourth quarter and full-year fiscal 2017 financial results on Aug. 16, showing momentum in several areas of the business.
For the quarter, Cisco reported revenue of $12.1 billion, for a four percent year-over-year decline. Net income for the fourth quarter was $3.1 billion, a three percent decline. For the full year, Cisco reported revenue of $48.0 billion, a two percent drop. Net income for FY2017 was $9.6 billion, with earnings per share of $1.90. Looking forward, Cisco provided first-quarter fiscal 2018 guidance for revenue to decline between one and three percent year-over-year.
On the negative side, Cisco's switching business continued its revenue decline, with fourth quarter revenue of $3.4 billion, a 9 percent year-over-year decline. For the full year, Cisco earned $13.9 billion from its switching business, which is a decline of five percent from fiscal 2016.
Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins commented during his company's earnings call that he's optimistic about the new Intent-based networking model that was announced in June.
"The Network Intuitive is a new intent-based network that creates a fully integrated intuitive system that is designed to anticipate actions, stop security threats in their tracks and continue to evolve and learn over time," Robbins said. "We're applying the latest technologies such as machine learning and advanced analytics to operate and define the network."
At the core of Network Intuitive model is the new Catalyst 9000 line of switches which Robbins said are already selling strong. After just four weeks in the market, Robbins said that over 200 customers have ordered the new Catalyst 9000.
"Building on this early success, we intend to further accelerate our leadership in intent-based networking through the combination of our expertise in network infrastructure AppDynamics visibility into applications and the Talos automation capabilities," Robbins said.
Cisco is also working with Microsoft on a new effort that could bring a lot more Cisco switches into Microsoft data centers.
"We're implementing a software layer on our datacenter switches that gives Microsoft the flexibility to run their own operating system on our industry leading hardware platforms in their Azure infrastructure," Robbins said.
A big winner for Cisco in 2017 was the company's growing security business. For the fourth quarter revenue was reported at $558 million for a three percent year-over-year gain. For the full years revenue was reported at $2.2 billion for a 9 percent improvement over fiscal 2016.
"Our security business delivered a solid quarter with double-digit orders and 49 percent deferred revenue growth," Robbins said. "This caps off a year in which we delivered 9 percent revenue growth with more than $2 billion in revenue making us the only company growing at this scale."
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.