Sales "linear" since 11 September...High-speed networking giant, Cisco, lifted the mood of the IT sector last night despite posting a loss. Nasdaq, the tech heavy exchange, finished the day 2.4 per cent up in anticipation of better than expected news. For the three months ending 27 October, Cisco reported a loss of $268m, compared to a profit of $798m a year ago. Revenues also fell, by 32 per cent to $4.4bn from $6.5m. However, these figures were higher than analysts expected earning shareholders four cents a share compared to a predicted two cents a share. The markets were looking for $4.1bn in sales. Significantly CEO John Chambers said the terrorists attacks on 11 September had not affected sales for the quarter although did say it was making forecasting all the more difficult. The company expects flat, or small, growth for the coming three months but refused to commit beyond January 2002. Chambers comments echoed remarks made two weeks ago when he said sales for the quarter had been "linear". This compares to comments made by other leading technology players such as Oracle and IBM who said the events of 11 September would have an immediate impact on revenues. Cisco has embarked on a series of cost cutting exercises this year including a re-jig of its UK channel structure and a move to e-learning that the company claims will save more than a $1m a year in training costs.