Just another brickmaker in the Great Firewall?
Photograph by Justin Sullivan — Getty Images
By Jonathan Vanian
August 11, 2015

On Wednesday, Cisco will report its fiscal fourth quarter earnings for 2015 under newly appointed CEO Chuck Robbins, who started his first day on the job two weeks ago.

According to Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimates, Cisco (CSCO) is expected to post $0.56 in earnings per share on revenue of $12.65 billion. Last quarter, the networking giant posted $0.47 per share ($0.54 non-GAAP) on third quarter revenue of $12.1 billion.

A couple of things are worth looking out for during the upcoming report.

While former CEO and current executive chairman John Chambers downplayed the notion of emerging startups specializing in a type of networking technology that could eat into the company’s business, analysts are still eyeing that possibility.

“Nevertheless, intensifying competition from several smaller players is likely to be a headwind for the fourth-quarter results,” wrote analysts from Zacks Investment Research.

It will also be curious to see whether Cisco’s leadership team discloses more information on how it envisions security business developments will unfold as the year progresses.

While Chambers will take on a mentorship role for both Robbins and the company’s leadership team, he will also be involved with Cisco’s security business.

In June, Cisco said it was going to buy the networking security company OpenDNS for $635 million in cash. The deal made sense for Cisco because OpenDNS’s technology gives the company an inside view of potential security threats that may be invading an organization’s infrastructure.

As Cisco pushes further into the internet of things, it’s likely the company would be eyeing the type of security products and startups that specialize in making sure the networks that connect myriad devices are secure. This could mean more acquisitions are on the way for a company that doesn’t shy away from big deals.

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