Something on Cisco's earnings call last night went terribly wrong. In a rational business sense, Cisco made plenty of money, even though they missed analyst estimates: $1.9B in profit and $40 billion in revenue for the first time in the company's history really isn't that shabby.
But something else was going on. The conference call was awful. It did not inspire confidence. Cisco executives bungled words, proceeded with a new "four-part" format as if they were trying to choreograph an opera at the Met, and struggled to explain the business climate. Even John Chambers himself, master of the bullish technology catchphrase, seemed to have trouble elucidating exactly what the problem was.
"We think the words unusual uncertainty are ... a description of what's happening."
Whaaa? Had we been suddenly been dropped into some metaphysical California Yoga retreat? Unusual uncertainty? What is that? That's not the Chambers I know. That's downright whimpy.