Chuck Robbins, CEO, Cisco Systems, speaking at the World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland, January 21, 2020.

Adam Galica | CNBC

Cisco shares rose as much as 4% in after-hours trading Wednesday after the company reported better-than-expected fiscal third-quarter earnings, although revenue dropped 8% from last year’s quarter, steeper than the 4% decline in the prior quarter. 

Here’s how the company did:

  • Earnings: 79 cents per share, adjusted
  • Revenue: $11.98 billion

Analysts polled by Refinitiv had expected 69 cents in adjusted earnings per share on $11.70 billion in revenue. Comparing results with estimates is not straightforward given the unpredictable impact of the coronavirus during the quarter.

Cisco’s largest segment, Infrastructure Platforms, which includes networking switches and routers for corporate data centers, produced $6.43 billion in revenue, down 15% year over year and below the $6.83 billion consensus among analysts surveyed by FactSet.

The Applications segment did $1.36 billion in revenue down 5% year over year and lower than the $1.43 billion FactSet consensus.

With respect to guidance, Cisco said it’s expecting 72 cents to 74 cents in adjusted earnings per share and a 8.5% to 11.5% decline in revenue for the fiscal fourth quarter. Analysts polled by Refinitiv had expected earnings of 69 cents per share on an adjusted basis and $11.82 billion in revenue, which implies a 12% decline.

In the fiscal third quarter Cisco said it would allow deferrals of payments on new orders to help customers whose finances have been affected by Covid-19. The company also said it planned to acquire wireless backhaul company Fluidmesh Networks for an undisclosed sum.

KeyBanc analysts led by Alex Kurtz lowered their rating to the equivalent of hold from the equivalent of buy last month, suggesting that customers that would ordinarily be focused on buying modern Cisco networking switches were turning their focus to technologies for remote work.

“Our partner discussions highlighted the ongoing importance of CAT9K, but we believe the big first wave of upgrades may have likely occurred over the last 24 months and that we might be moving to a more moderated refresh growth rate over a longer period,” the analysts wrote.

Cisco shares were down 13% since the beginning of the year prior to the after-market moves.

Executives will discuss the results with analysts on a conference call starting at 4:30 p.m. Eastern time.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

WATCH: Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins on how the private sector can help during the coronavirus crisis