Cisco tops Q4 expectations as new CEO takes control

The networking company has been undergoing a time of massive changes, for better or worse.

With a new CEO on board, Cisco published better-than-expected fiscal fourth quarter financial results after the bell on Wednesday.

The tech giant reported a net income of $2.3 billion, or 45 cents per share (statement).

Non-GAAP earnings were 59 cents per share on a revenue of $12.8 billion, up four percent year-over-year.

Wall Street was looking for earnings of 56 cents per share with $12.65 billion in revenue.

For the full year, Cisco posted $49.2 billion in revenue, also up four percent annually, with non-GAAP earnings of $2.21 per share.

For the first quarter, Wall Street is looking for non-GAAP earnings of 56 cents per share with $12.55 billion in revenue.

Cisco responded with a forecast of 55 to 57 earnings cents per share, projecting revenue to climb by two to four percent, year-over-year.

The networking company has been undergoing a time of massive changes, for better or worse.

John Chambers ended his 20-year run as chief executive of the Silicon Valley stalwart at the end of July, replaced by Chuck Robbins, Cisco's SVP of worldwide field operations.

"I'm stepping into the CEO role at an incredibly exciting time for Cisco," reflected Robbins, in Wednesday's report. "I'm particularly pleased with the strong growth of deferred revenue which shows we are very effectively driving our business to a more predictable software-based business model, at the same time as growing revenues and earnings."

In June, Robbins outlined his vision for the IT company, which has seen its market value depreciated by the billions over the last decade.

Robbins stressed that under his leadership, Cisco would focus on what customers want three years from now some of the company's present day revenue generators, such as enterprise and public sector.

But even before he took charge officially, Robbins made waves with some leadership structure changes of his own.

Cisco's co-presidents Rob Lloyd and Gary Moore both announced their imminent departures scheduled for the end of July earlier this summer. Guido Jouret, previously vice president and general manager of Cisco's Internet of Things group, had already announced his resignation in May in order to "pursue a new opportunity."

Padmasree Warrior stepped down as CTO but promised to stay on as an advisor during the transition to Hilton Romanski, who previously led Cisco's merger and acquisition plans.