Goldman Cautions on Cisco

Analyst Natarajan Subrahmanyan sees a challenging first quarter for the maker of networking gear

Goldman Sachs sees a challenging first quarter for Cisco (CSCO ).

Analyst Natarajan Subrahmanyan says the first quarter will be challenging due to weak enterprise spending and a difficult carrier market. Subrahmanyan thinks the carrier market will continue to shrink significantly in the first quarter. He says messages are mixed, based on his checks on the quarter's progress.

Subrahmanyan also thinks the backend-loaded nature of the first quarter makes it too early to determine if Cisco will meet his forecast of flat sequential sales. He says near term, investors may want to wait for more clarity before adding to their positions.

He sees $0.59 fiscal 2003 (July) earnings per share, and rates the shares as outperform, based on Cisco's on reasonable valuation and sustainable competitive advantage.

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