"Investors want to hear reassurance," says James Wade, an analyst with Deutsche Banc Alex Brown LLC. "They want to hear that their world hasn't utterly been rocked. And John Chambers is their last hope."
Indeed, financial analysts who'll be watching Chambers's speech tell Light Reading that even as dotcom firms and CLECs are failing right and left, Chambers will be optimistic about the Internet's promise and the potential of new communications networks. But will Chambers give investors any reason to think Cisco is in danger of succumbing to the law of large numbers -- which suggests that the bigger a company gets, the less likely it is to turn out mind-blowing growth?
Issues that Chambers may address include:
That said, Chambers has reason to be upbeat. For one thing, he's always said that the optical business, which is expected to grow 20 percent sequentially, feeds its enterprise business, as opposed to the high single-digit growth expected for Cisco's service provider business (see Cisco: Boom or Bust? and Cisco's at a Crossroads). And it's important to remember: When times are tough, Chambers has always found a way to make Cisco come out better than its competitors.
-- Phil Harvey, senior editor, Light Reading http://www.lightreading.com