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Investment Overview for Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO)
Below are key drivers of Cisco's value that present opportunities for upside or downside to the current Trefis price estimate for Cisco:
Cisco Switches Market Share: With a market share of close to 60%, Cisco has a dominant position in the switching market.The market size for the bottom layer switches is more than the combined size for routers (core, enterprise and edge) at an estimated $22 billion for 2015. Due to its longstanding customer relationships and dominant position in the industry, we see very little declines in Cisco's market share and expect it to remain above 60% throughout our forecast period. However, if increasing competition eats away at its market share and causes it to decline to about 50% by the end of our forecast period, we could see a potential downside of about 5% to our price estimate. On the other hand, if Cisco leverages its dominant position and wide enterprise reach to further bolster its share to 75%, there could be an upside of a similar nature to our price estimate for Cisco.
Cisco Edge Router Market Share: We forecast Cisco's share in the edge router market to moderately decrease from an estimated 30% in 2015 to 27% by the end of our forecast period. However, there could be a downside of about 2% to our price estimate if Cisco were to see its market share decrease to 20% by end of our forecast period. On the other hand, if the market share were to increase to around 40% there could be a similar minor upside.
Enterprise Router Market Share: We forecast Cisco's share in the enterprise router market to only moderately decrease from an estimated 72% in 2015 to about 70% by the end of our forecast period. Given its high share in this segment, rising competition can have a negative impact on our price estimate for Cisco. There could be a potential downside of about 1% to our price estimate if Cisco were to see its market share decline by 10 percentage points by the end of our forecast period.
For additional details, select a driver above or select a division from the interactive Trefis split for Cisco at the top of the page.
Cisco designs and sells networking and communications technology and services. It creates networking equipment such as switches and routers used primarily by businesses and Internet service providers to route data such as emails, videos, files and other digital communication. For example, an email that you send to a distant friend travels through various switches and routers made by companies like Cisco, Juniper and Alcatel-Lucent along the path to its destination.
Over the past four years, Cisco has had a more than 60% market share in Switches market(although the figure has decline), which is estimated at $24 billion for 2015. The switching market comprises of both Bottom Layer Switches and Top Layer Switches. Bottom Layer Switches are the most prevalent types of switches found within networks and used for basic routing of data within the network. The market for Bottom Layer Switches alone is bigger than the overall router market.
In addition to networking hardware, Cisco provides maintenance and support services to its customers to help them fix problems that occur with networking equipment. Cisco's network service revenues and profits are dependent on the installed base of Cisco switch and router equipment.
Of the various router segments, Cisco has a bigger presence in the enterprise router market owing to its longstanding relationship with enterprises and their willingness to let one vendor handle all aspects of their network, as opposed to service providers. Cisco commands more than 50% of this market and we expect the company to see only a slight decline in its market share, going forward. Enterprise Routers are used by medium and large businesses for their own data routing needs. Core Routers and Edge Routers, on the other hand, are used by Internet Service Providers to route data traffic from network to network.
Escalating Mobile Data Traffic Driving Router and Switch Sales
A study released by Cisco (Juniper's primary competitor) in early 2016 estimated that global mobile data traffic grew 74% in 2015, with 4G traffic exceeding 3G traffic for the first time. Going forward, Cisco expects to see the figure grow 7-fold by 2020 to 30.6 exabytes per month. Most of that rapid growth will be fueled by the burgeoning demand for video, which is expected to account for more than 75% of all mobile traffic by 2020.
Growing penetration of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets is driving the demand for mobile data through the roof, causing wireless service providers to look for cost-effective ways to upgrade their networks in order to support and monetize the growing traffic. Cisco, which has a dominant position in the networking market, is positioned well with its strong customer relationships to benefit from the growing demand for network equipment in the long run.
Alcatel Lucent's re-entry into core router space
Historically, Cisco and Juniper have had a virtually duopolistic control over the core router market, with a more than 80% combined market share at all times. However, that is now threatened by the re-entry of Alcatel Lucent in the core router space in 2012. Despite not having a core routing solution until now, Alcatel Lucent has steadily climbed the edge routing charts from being just an entrant in 2003 to surpassing Juniper as the number 2 vendor in the industry in 2009-10. With about 24% market share of the edge routing industry, Alcatel Lucent has done well to find a place in many networks and can now use that as a leverage to push its core routers as well.
Also, armed with an end-to-end solution, Alcatel Lucent can now compete with Cisco for many businesses in the edge routing industry that prefer such solutions, hurting Cisco's edge routing market share even further.
Hardware to software shift in networking
There is going to be an industry wide shift in demand from hardware networking solutions to software-based ones in the long run. This poses an interesting challenge to traditional hardware-based players such as Cisco and Juniper. VMware, for example, is a threat considering its virtualisation expertise and its recent acquisition of Nicira, a software-based networking company. Cloud-computing solutions are also driving this trend. Cisco recently launched its own cloud-based routing and WAN optimization platform for the enterprise, called the Cisco Cloud Connected Solution to address the changing trend.
The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement is causing corporates to increase their allocation of IT budgets towards enhancing network security. As employees bring their own mobile devices such as the iProducts as well as Android based smartphones and tablets to work, enterprises feel an increasing need to bolster their network security to effectively manage and support all devices while mitigating the threat of an outside attack. Addressing the BYOD movement presents Cisco with an opportunity to increase security revenue as well as improve the demand for its routing and switching solutions.
IP Data Convergence
In recent years Cisco has increasingly focused on the convergence of IP data through digital video, IP telephony and web conferencing. Cisco has positioned itself to benefit from the ongoing transition of TV viewership to all digital services (e.g. digital cable) and the evolution of business communications from fixed line communication to IP based, video and web conferencing enabled communication.
Trefis Forecast Rationale for Bottom Layer Switch Market Size
Bottom Layer Network Switch Market Size represents the total revenues generated annually by bottom layer switch sales. Bottom layer switches operate at layers 2-3 of the network architecture and are primarily used to balance and direct traffic within a network.
Bottom layer (layers 2-3 of network architecture) switch revenues have been growing rapidly since 2010 amounting to $22.3 billion in 2015. We expect the growth to continue at a slow rate of just under 3% till the end of our forecast period.
Our forecast is based on the following three factors:
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Next wave of growth to come from 10GE upgrades
- The high growth years between 2004-2006 were primarily a result of upgrade to Gigabit Ethernet (1 Gbps) from Fast Ethernet (10/100 Mbps)
- We expect the next major growth to come from upgrade to the 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GE) standard
- Upgrading to a higher speed will help service providers and enterprises increase their capacity to maintain high speed networks such as LTE.
Weak economy is likely to affect capital expenditure budgets
- Both enterprises and service providers are on a cost-cutting spree as macro-economic concerns arising from the Euro debt crisis persist.
- As a result, they are unlikely to spend on unnecessary network upgrades and will be very cautious in their infrastructure spending.
- However, as the economy starts to recover, customers that have deferred upgrading their networks will start spending on infrastructure once again.
- Bottom layer switching is a mature market
- There exists a large installed base of network switches
- The primary source of growth is the upgrade of existing networks and replacement of switches.
How Does Trefis Modelling Work?
How do we get the historical numbers for this chart?
Trefis has a team of in-house Analysts who gather historical data from company filings and other verifiable sources. When historicals are available, we explain how we got them at the bottom of the Trefis analysis section below.
Who came up with the Trefis forecast for future years?
The Trefis team of in-house Analysts considers a variety of factors when projecting any forecast. The rationale for our projections is explained in the Trefis analysis section below.
How does my dragging the trendline on the chart impact the stock price?
- We use forecasts for business drivers to calculate forecasted Revenues and Profits for each division of the company.
- We then use forecasted Profits in a Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model to obtain the Price Estimate for the company.
See more on: DCF Methodology
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