Cisco Systems posts good profit numbers, sees growth in online video


Cisco's (CSCO) figures were good, but almost incidental to its bright prospects. The company has become, through both organic growth and M&A, the business world's great proxy for the rise of online video. Its routers deliver massive packets of data across the web. Its videoconference business is used for enterprise communications all over the world. Its set-top boxes power cable and telecom video delivery into the living room.

Cisco reported first-quarter net sales of $9 billion, a 13 percent drop. Earnings per share were down 19 percent to 30 cents. The company also announced a share buyback, a strange move for such a great M&A machine. It said that on Nov. 4, its board of directors authorized up to $10 billion in additional common share repurchases. Cisco's board had previously authorized up to $62 billion in buyback's. Usually that arsenal would be used for more acquisitions, something Cisco seems to do every month.