Cisco on Wednesday reported fourth quarter financial results slightly ahead of expectations. The networking giant reported double-digit order growth across all customer markets and geographies, including product order growth of 31 percent -- its strongest year-over-year growth in over a decade. "Our performance reflects the impact of our investments in high growth opportunities resulting in our strong product order growth," CFO Scott Herren said in a statement. The product order growth also coincides with supply chain challenges hitting Cisco and other IT companies, which has prompted Cisco to respond with "strategic price increases." Cisco's Q4 non-GAAP earnings per share came to 84 cents on revenue of $13.1 billion up 8% year-over-year.
AT&T Inc.'s second-quarter revenue rose 7.6% driven by new subscribers to its cellphone service, leading it to increase its financial outlook for the year. The media and telecommunications giant said it is focusing on continuing to expand its broadband business and cellphone subscriber base, its core profit engine. The company now expects consolidated revenue growth between 2% and 3%, up from a prior view of about 1% growth. AT&T has boosted its wireless subscriber count over the past year by dangling significant smartphone discounts in exchange for long-term commitments, prompting rivals Verizon Communications Inc. and T-Mobile US Inc. to respond with their own promotions. The discounts, while expensive, helped AT&T post a net gain of 789,000 postpaid phone subscribers during the second quarter.
Verizon Communications Inc.'s profit and sales slipped in the fourth quarter as higher costs burdened its bottom line, though the company issued a more upbeat view of its prospects in 2021. The largest U.S. cellphone carrier said it expects wireless-service revenue growth to hit at least 3% this year while it continues to invest in upgrades to support fifth-generation wireless technology, also known as 5G. The company said capital spending would fall between $17.5 billion and $18.5 billion in 2021. Verizon ended 2020 with a quarterly net gain of 279,000 postpaid phone connections compared with a gain of 790,000 in the same quarter a year earlier. Telephone companies prize so-called postpaid accounts, which charge customers monthly bills after service is rendered, for their stable revenue.