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First Union Downgrades Cisco Rating


First Union downgraded its investment recommendation on shares of Cisco Systems (CSCO) to buy from strong buy and cut estimates.

Analyst Stephen Koffler says that of the major service providers who have already reported, clear trends appear to be emerging: attractive pricing is being offered, and solvency-related issues to large, highly leveraged emerging carriers. Unfortunately, Koffler thinks this means that peak spending has already been seen in Q1 of 2001, and a second-half recovery from the current spending base is unlikely. For Cisco, he thinks this means previous revenue assumptions are no longer realistic.

The analyst lowered his $4.25 billion Q4 revenue forecast to $3.54 billion; and his estimates for fiscal 2002 (July) from $0.25 EPS on $17.9 billion in revenues to $0.23 EPS on $14.9 billion in revenues. He also lowered his price target to $15.


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