RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) shares took a hammering in after-hours trading Wednesday after the tech giant reported a revenue forecast below expectations and its CEO warned of more “uncertainty” to come, citing the war in Ukraine and COVID impact on supply chains in China.

Later, Cisco shares traded down more than 14% as markets opened. At one point shares dipped to a new 52-week low of $41.36, according to Nasdaq data.

The news has impact in the Triangle where Cisco employs thousands at its RTP campus and the tech sector at large.

Here’s what Robbins had to say in a conference call as reported by financial news site SeekingAlpha:

“When we spoke with you back in February, we entered Q3 in the second half of our fiscal year with optimism despite the supply and component challenges and other headwinds impacting us and many of our peers.

“Many of those factors that fueled that optimism remain unchanged today. We continue to see strong demand resulting in record backlog, our business transformation is progressing well and our differentiated innovation across our portfolio is helping our customers embrace and adopt the multiple technology transitions happening.

“However, there were two unanticipated events since our last earnings call, which impacted our Q3 revenue performance. The first is the war in Ukraine. This resulted in us ceasing operations in Russia and Belarus and had a corresponding revenue impact, which Scott will discuss. The second relates to COVID related lockdowns in China, which began in late March. These lockdowns resulted in an even more severe shortage of certain critical components. This in turn prevented us from shipping products to customers at the levels we originally anticipated heading into Q3.

“Our Q4 guidance incorporates a wider than usual range, taking into account the revenue impact of the war in Ukraine and the continuing uncertainty related to the China COVID lockdowns. Given this uncertainty, we’re being practical about the current environment and erring on the side of caution in terms of our outlook, taking it one quarter at a time.

“We believe that our revenue performance in the upcoming quarters is less dependent on demand and more dependent on the supply availability in this increasingly complex environment. While certain aspects of the current situation are largely out of our control, our teams have been working on several mitigation actions to help alleviate many of the component issues that we’ve been facing. We believe that we will begin to see the benefits of these actions in the first half of next fiscal year. …

“I want to reiterate what I said earlier. The fundamental drivers across our busin”ess are strong. While we are facing some short-term challenges, it does not change our long-term outlook, our alignment to our customers’ most critical challenges or our belief in the tremendous opportunities in front of us.”