Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO) reported better-than-expected quarterly results and announced a stock buyback plan and dividend increase, sending its shares higher in extended trading on Wednesday.

The tech giant, which operates one of its largest campuses in Research Triangle Park, said it earned $3.15 billion, or 62 cents per share, in its second quarter ended Jan. 23.

A year earlier, Cisco earned $2.4 billion, or 46 cents per share.

Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were 57 cents per share.

The results beat Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 18 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for adjusted earnings of 54 cents per share.

  • WRAL TechWire Insider analysis: A steady stream of acquisitions is helping enable Cisco’s transformation.

The seller of routers, switches, software and services posted revenue of $11.93 billion in the period, slightly below $11.94 billion in the year-earlier quarter but ahead of Street forecasts. Thirteen analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $11.75 billion.

For a more detailed look at Cisco’s earnings and other financial data, click on the blue “See more details” link in the graphic.

“We delivered a strong Q2, and are managing the business extremely well in a challenging macro environment,” said Chuck Robbins, Cisco’s chief executive officer. “We’re managing the company on two fronts. We’re focused on continued strong execution in the near term while investing in the innovation to lead our customers into the future.”

Like many of its competitors, Cisco has been attempting to expand into faster-growing segments as some of its core business has shown signs of slowing. Its recent acquisitions have been in the areas of security, data analytics and video markets. Earlier this month, the company announced it was buying Jasper Technologies – which provides software and services that let companies manage Internet-connected devices – for $1.4 billion.

Cisco said Wednesday its board authorized the repurchase of up to $15 billion in stock. Added to previously available funds, Cisco said it has $16.9 billion remaining to buy back its shares. During the most recent quarter the company spent $1.3 billion buying back stock.

Cisco also said its board declared a quarterly dividend of 26 cents, up 5 cents, or 24 percent, from the previous quarter. The dividend will be paid April 27 to shareholders of record April 6.

For the current quarter ending in May, Cisco expects its per-share earnings to range from 54 cents to 56 cents. That brackets the average analyst estimate of 55 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Cisco shares have fallen 17 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has dropped slightly more than 9 percent. The stock closed Wednesday at $22.51, a drop of 18 percent in the last 12 months.
In after-hours trading following the release of the earnings report, it rose more than 7 percent, or $1.65, to $24.16.

Read the full earnings report at: