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Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO - Analyst Report) recently introduced the most scalable and programmable network processor — nPower X1. It is specially designed to cope with the continuously increasing Internet traffic. The processor was built with an intention to allow administrators to change its functionality while still in use.

A network processor is an integrated circuit with features especially designed to carry out networking operations. Their features are very similar to that of the Central Processing Units in computing devices.

nPower X1 enhances performance due to low power consumption. It also reduces cost since the chips are inseparably associated. It has four billion transistors which make it possible for a single processor to do all the packet processing, traffic management and input-output related functions.

Cisco Systems, Inc. is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. Cisco's Internet Protocol-based networking solutions are the foundation of the Internet and most corporate, educational and government networks around the world. Cisco provides the broadest line of solutions for transporting data, voice and video within buildings, across campuses or around the world.

In the third quarter of 2013, Cisco reported GAAP net income of $2.5 billion or 46 cents per share and non-GAAP net income of $2.7 billion or 51 cents per share. Cisco has beaten estimates for the last four quarters, with a trailing four-quarter average positive surprise of 6.52%.

Cisco provided an encouraging fourth-quarter outlook, with revenues expected to increase in the range of 4% to 7% on a year-over-year basis. Cisco expects non-GAAP earnings in the range of 50 cents–52 cents per share, above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 47 cents. GAAP earnings are expected in the range of 7 cents to 10 cents.

Currently, Cisco has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other stocks that look attractive this season are Silicom Ltd Ord (SILC), Extreme Networks Inc (EXTR - Snapshot Report) and Infinera Corp (INFN - Snapshot Report). While Silicom carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Extreme Networks and Infinera carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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