Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cisco: Skepticism Abounds About Foray into Servers (CSCO)

While we like CSCO, we like negative opinions better. If everyone agrees how wonderful a business is, that in itself is a pretty good reason to bail (although the timing can be tricky).
In addition I remember a very sharp assistant's question on bringing me some particularly bad news: "Would you rather have the information or not?"
From Tech Trader Daily:

Seems the more the Street thinks about Cisco Systems’s (CSCO) announcement Monday it will sell servers, the less the Street is inclined to be enthusiastic. As I noted Monday, Cisco is expected to lose current revenue from partners Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and IBM (IBM) as it comes into deep competition with both. And the effort Cisco will need to make to actually be successful in selling a server against both vendors seems somewhat formidable, however enthusiastic Cisco is about its server, dubbed the “Unified Computing System,” or UCS.

JP Morgan’s Ehud Gelblum sounds the most skeptical of the lot. His colleague Mark Moskowitz, who covers HP and IBM, today put out a note saying that it’s going to be pretty tough for Cisco to put together the necessary software and services to match the top vendors of servers. Gelblum agrees, but he’s more interested in what seems to be a rather skimpy return even if Cisco does succeed. He projects Cisco may lose as much as $1.5 billion in sales from its partnerships with IBM and HP over the next few years. If Cisco can get even $2 billion of the additional $20 billion of incremental revenue to be had in the data center, the payoff would be a mere $500 million after covering the $1.5 billion “hole.” >>>MORE