Robbie Stephens Cuts Cisco Rating

Analyst Paul Johnson thinks the networking powerhouse will face some stiff competition

Robertson Stephens downgrades its rating on Cisco (CSCO ) to long term attractive from buy.

Analyst Paul Johnson says a key piece of the story is the increasingly aggressive competitive environment in which Cisco operates. Johnson says that if he's correct, which all signs indicate, next-generation companies such as Juniper, Redback and Extreme will be producing faster, denser and less expensive competitive products. He notes that management feels that the lower end of 30%-50% fiscal 2002 growth rate is more probable. Johnson cut his estimates substantially: $0.81 fiscal 2001 (July) EPS to $0.64, and $1.12 fiscal 2002 EPS to $0.75. Although the stock price may be seductive, Johnson says he downgraded his rating on the belief that the current company is merely a shadow of its former self.

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