Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), the biggest maker of networking equipment, reported quarterly profit that beat estimates as corporate customers increased spending to meet surging demands for data delivery over the Internet.

Cisco says it is seeing “some good signs” in the U.S. and other markets.

Revenue increased 5 percent, to $12.22 billion from $11.59 billion.

Cisco’s performance is widely regarded as a way to assess the state of the technology industry. That’s because the San Jose, Calif., company cuts a broad swath while selling its routers, switches, software and services to corporate customers and government agencies around the world.

Fiscal third-quarter profit excluding some items was 51 cents a share on revenue of $12.2 billion, the San Jose, California-based company said today in a statement. That compares with analysts’ average projection for profit of 49 cents on sales of $12.2 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Cisco is benefiting as companies step up investments in data-traffic networks to accommodate users who are increasingly relying on smartphones and tablets to watch video and surf the Web. Price cuts are also bolstering sales of traditional switches and routers, while technologies added through recent acquisitions are helping Cisco expand in servers and wireless networking, according to Jason Ader, an analyst at William Blair & Co.

“They’re focused on where they can really make a dent in their growth,” said Ader, who has an outperform rating on the shares. “Overall, they’ve gotten more aggressive and more engaged.”

The stock rose as much as 4.9 percent to $22.25 in extended trading. Earlier, the shares decreased less than 1 percent to $21.21 at the close in New York, leaving them up 7.9 percent this year.

Cisco operates its second largest corporate campus in RTP and employs some 5,000 people in the area.

Net Income

Net income rose 14 percent to $2.48 billion, or 46 cents a share, from $2.17 billion, or 40 cents, a year earlier.

Chief Executive Officer John Chambers has stepped up acquisitions to bolster the company’s core business of routers and switches for large companies and telecommunications carriers.

Last month, Cisco agreed to buy U.K. networking company Ubiquisys for about $310 million, gaining technology that helps wireless carriers provide better service to smartphone and tablet users. The transaction followed purchases in recent months of Intucell Ltd. for $475 million and Meraki Inc. for $1.2 billion.

In March of last year, Cisco agreed to buy NDS Group Ltd. for about $5 billion to tap demand for technologies that deliver and protect pay-TV content.

Cisco is also shedding units. In January, the company said that it sold its Linksys home-router unit for an undisclosed price, which followed earlier moves to exit consumer businesses such as the Flip video-camera unit.

Chambers has also eliminated jobs, shut businesses and reduced prices to fend off competition from Hewlett-Packard Co. and Juniper Networks Inc. Cuts announced in March brought the total number of positions Chambers has eliminated in the past two years to more than 8,300 as the company has shuttered units and expanded in corporate software and technology services.