The FINANCIAL -- Cisco, one of the worldwide leaders in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate, on August 12 reported its fourth quarter and fiscal year results for the period ended July 25, 2015. Cisco reported fourth quarter revenue of $12.8 billion, net income on a generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) basis of $2.3 billion or $0.45 per share, and non-GAAP net income of $3.0 billion or $0.59 per share.
"I'm stepping into the CEO role at an incredibly exciting time for Cisco. We closed out our fiscal year with record revenues and record non-GAAP EPS, for both Q4 and FY15. I'm particularly pleased with the strong growth of deferred revenue which shows we are very effectively driving our business to a more predictable software-based business model, at the same time as growing revenues and earnings," said Chuck Robbins, Cisco chief executive officer.
"These strong results show what we are capable of when we're focused, and you can expect us to continue to drive the evolution of our portfolio to maximize the value we bring to customers in today's rapidly changing market. The network's strategic role at the center of everything becoming digital -- today and in the future -- is why I strongly believe Cisco's best years are ahead of us."
Q4 2015 Highlights
Revenue -- Total revenue was $12.8 billion, up 4%. Product revenue and service revenue each increased 4%. In terms of total revenue by geographic segment, Americas was up 7%, while both EMEA and APJC were flat. Product revenue growth was led by Collaboration and Data Center at 14% each. Switching and NGN Routing grew by 2% and 3%, respectively.
Gross Margin -- On a non-GAAP basis, total gross margin and product gross margin were 62.1% and 61.0% respectively. The decrease in non-GAAP product gross margin as compared to the third quarter of fiscal 2015 was driven by pricing and product mix partially offset by productivity. Non-GAAP service gross margin was 65.9%. Total gross margins by geographic segment were: 62.7% for the Americas, 62.1% for EMEA, and 59.5% for APJC. On a GAAP basis, total gross margin, product gross margin, and service gross margin were at 60.2%, 59.0% and 64.5%, respectively.
Operating Expenses -- Non-GAAP operating expenses were $4.2 billion, up 1%. Headcount increased from the third quarter of fiscal 2015 by approximately 900 to 71,833 reflecting investments in key growth areas such as security, cloud and software. On a GAAP basis, operating expenses were $4.9 billion, up 3%.
Operating Income -- Non-GAAP operating income was $3.8 billion, up 9%, with non-GAAP operating margin at 29.3%. GAAP operating income was $2.9 billion, up 7%, with GAAP operating margin of 22.4%.
Provision for Income Taxes -- The non-GAAP tax provision rate was 21.0% for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015 reflecting fiscal year end true-ups. The GAAP tax provision rate was 20.9%.
Net Income and EPS -- On a non-GAAP basis, net income was $3.0 billion, an increase of 6%, and EPS was $0.59, an increase of 7%. On a GAAP basis, net income was $2.3 billion and EPS was $0.45.
Cash Flow from Operating Activities -- was $4.1 billion for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015, compared with $3.0 billion for the third quarter of fiscal 2015, and compared with $3.6 billion for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014.
Fiscal 2015 Highlights
Revenue -- Total revenue was $49.2 billion, an increase of 4%.
Net Income and EPS -- On a non-GAAP basis, net income was $11.4 billion, an increase of 5%, and EPS was $2.21, an increase of 7%. On a GAAP basis, net income was $9.0 billion and EPS was $1.75.
Cash Flow from Operating Activities -- was $12.6 billion for fiscal 2015, compared with $12.3 billion for fiscal 2014.
Cash and Cash Equivalents and Investments -- were $60.4 billion at the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015, compared with $54.4 billion at the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2015, and compared with $52.1 billion at the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014. $7.0 billion of cash and cash equivalents and investments was available in the United States at the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015.
Deferred Revenue -- was $15.2 billion, up 7% in total. Product deferred revenue grew in double-digits again in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015 at 21%, driven largely by subscription based and software offerings, while services deferred revenue grew 1%. Cisco continued to build a greater mix of recurring revenue as reflected in deferred revenue.
Product Backlog -- was approximately $5.1 billion at the end of fiscal 2015 as compared to approximately $5.4 billion at the end of fiscal 2014.
Days Sales Outstanding in Accounts Receivable (DSO) -- was 38 days at the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015 consistent with the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014.
In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015, Cisco declared and paid a cash dividend of $0.21 per common share, or $1.1 billion. For the full fiscal year, Cisco declared and paid cash dividends of $0.80 per common share, or $4.1 billion.
For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015, Cisco repurchased approximately 35 million shares of common stock under its stock repurchase program at an average price of $28.62 per share for an aggregate purchase price of $1.0 billion. For the full fiscal year, Cisco repurchased approximately 155 million shares of common stock under its stock repurchase program at an average price of $27.22 per share for an aggregate purchase price of $4.2 billion. As of July 25, 2015, Cisco had repurchased and retired 4.4 billion shares of Cisco common stock at an average price of $20.86 per share for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $92.7 billion since the inception of the stock repurchase program. The remaining authorized amount for stock repurchases under this program is approximately $4.3 billion with no termination date.
For the full fiscal year, Cisco returned $8.3 billion to shareholders through share buybacks and dividends, which represented 73% of free cash flow.
"We ended this year with another strong quarter. We saw good top line growth in Q4 with record revenue of $12.8 billion, a 4% increase for the quarter bringing our full year 2015 revenue to $49.2 billion -- also growth of 4%," said Kelly Kramer, Cisco executive vice president and chief financial officer. "I am pleased with our execution on our financial strategy of delivering profitable growth, managing our portfolio and strategic investments, and delivering shareholder value."
Acquisitions and Divestitures
In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015, we announced an agreement to sell the client premises equipment portion of our Service Provider Video connected devices unit to French-based Technicolor for approximately $600 million in cash and stock, subject to certain adjustments. We will continue to refocus our investments in service provider video towards cloud and software-based services. We expect the transaction to close at the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2016 subject to regulatory approvals.
During the quarter, Cisco also announced its intent to acquire the cloud-based security company OpenDNS to enhance the security portfolio and, along with this, Cisco announced one additional acquisition and closed two acquisitions to further complement the software, collaboration and cloud offerings.
Share-based compensation expense is expected to impact Cisco's results of operations in similar proportions as the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015. Amortization of purchased intangible assets, and other acquisition-related/divestiture costs will be reported as GAAP operating expenses, cost of sales, or other income/(loss) as applicable.
The range for restructuring and other charges includes a pretax charge of up to $200 million as a result of the restructuring that Cisco announced in August 2014. During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015, Cisco recognized pretax restructuring charges of $78 million to the GAAP financial statements related to these actions and expects that the total charges related to these actions will be approximately $700 million for the total restructuring plan.
This guidance does not include the effects of any future acquisitions/divestitures, asset impairments, restructurings, and tax or other events, which may or may not be significant.