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Cisco's earnings continued their upward spiral yesterday when the company reported Q4 profits of 21 cents a share, a 38 per cent increase on the 16 cents a share it recorded for the same period last year. The figures were a smidge above expectations: Wall Street had anticipated earnings of 20 cents a share, but what's a penny among friends? Translating earnings into real revenue, Cisco made $727 million in the quarter, up from $525 million last year. Revenue reached $3.55 billion, a 48 per cent on last year's $2.40 billion. That contributed to annual revenues of $12.5 billion, up 43 per cent on the $8.9 billion the company posted a year ago. For the whole year, Cisco achieved a profitability before charges of $2.55 billion, up 35 per cent from $1.88 billion last year. Cisco's growth-by-acquisition strategy continued apace throughout the quarter, leading to charges of $92 million, pushing net income for the quarter down to $635 million (18 cents a share). For the same period last year, net income totalled $493 million (15 cents a share). ®

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