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Who's Stealing Cisco's Business?

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Cisco Systems' (Nasdaq: CSCO  ) current doldrums don't herald the end of the networking world. Signs of life abound today, including earnings from a trio of Cisco's networking rivals.

Juniper Networks (Nasdaq: JNPR  ) reported $0.32 of first-quarter pro forma earnings, exactly matching analyst targets. Largest customer AT&T (NYSE: T  ) kept ordering Juniper gear for its next-generation voice and data networks, much to nervous analysts' relief. The stock has gained 21% over the last six months.

Meanwhile, Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU  ) is working up new network standards alongside Chinese telecom giant China Mobile (NYSE: CHL  ) . That partnership will surely lead to bulk orders of Alcatel equipment down the line, destined for the largest mobile network in the world. Alcatel-Lucent stock is up 7% on the joint research announcement, and it's absolutely crushed the market with 89% gains over the last three months.

Finisar (Nasdaq: FNSR  ) and other optical networking stocks are riding the good news from Juniper and Alcatel to modest gains of their own today. A rash of disappointing reports interrupted that upward trajectory as winter rolled into spring, including Finisar's own swing-and-a-miss. Nonetheless, Finisar has managed to beat the market over the last two quarters with a 36% gain.

Cisco has been beating the drum for higher bandwidth investments since, well, the beginning of time in Cisco terms. But it seems that its competition is picking up the lion's share of business these days.

It's always dangerous to dismiss a wounded giant entirely, but if Cisco wants to get back to its old, iconic status, CEO John Chambers sure has his work cut out for him.

Follow this high-drama industry up close and personal, by adding a few key stocks to your watchlist. It's the best way to stay on top of the market news that really matters:

Juniper Networks is a Motley Fool Big Short short-sale selection. AT&T is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. China Mobile is a Motley Fool Global Gains choice. The Fool has created a bull call spread position on Cisco Systems. Alpha Newsletter Account, LLC has opened a short position on Juniper Networks. The Fool owns shares of China Mobile. Alpha Newsletter Account, LLC owns shares of Cisco Systems. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.

Read/Post Comments (2) | Recommend This Article (5)

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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2011, at 9:46 PM, BradReeseCom wrote:

    Hi Anders,

    You seem to have overlooked ADTRAN, as they too have been very successful at stealing Cisco's business:

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Apr 12, 2011

    ADTRAN, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADTN) reported results for the first quarter of 2011.

    Sales increased 30% to an all time record level of $165,522,000 for the quarter, compared to $127,027,000 for the first quarter of 2010.

    Operating income increased 80% to $45,606,000 for the quarter compared to $25,345,000 for the first quarter of 2010.

    Net income increased 88% to $34,258,000 for the quarter, compared to $18,194,000 for the first quarter of 2010.

    Earnings per share, assuming dilution, increased 79% to $0.52 for the quarter, compared to $0.29 for the first quarter of 2010.


    Brad Reese

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2011, at 11:36 PM, kutani123 wrote:

    Indeed those companies are eating Cisco alive!!

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