Cisco results seen as light at end of tunnel for the telecoms sector

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Cisco has reported a big slump in 1Q earnings as its operating profit fell to $332 million from $1.4 billion in the same period last year. That, however, was double analysts' expectations.

The results were seen by many as a sign that the slump in the telecoms sector may have bottomed out. The California-based company reported a net loss of $268 million compared with a profit of $798m in the same period last year.

Cisco, like its rivals Lucent and Nortel, has suffered as businesses and telecoms companies have cut back on hardware spending.

Sales for the quarter that ended in October fell 32% to $4.4 billion, but were also slightly ahead of forecasts. Cisco said in August first-quarter sales would be flat to down 5% from the fourth quarter of $4.3 billion.

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