订阅

多平台阅读

微信订阅

杂志

申请纸刊赠阅

订阅每日电邮

移动应用

商业 - 科技

思科新政:放慢步子,提高股息

Michal Lev-Ram 2012年10月23日

困难时期促使这家网络设备制造商在策略上主动做出了调整。如今的思科把更多的精力投入到了基础核心业务,同时顺应股东的愿望,加大了派息力度。市场对思科的主动求变反应积极。

    思科(Cisco)业绩呈两位数增长的时期或许已经结束了,但这家科技巨擘在过去几年里已采取了一系列明智的措施来调整策略——比如削减成本,专注于自己前景最佳的业务,并且在该公司30年历史上第一次向股东派发季度股息。作为思科首席财务官,弗兰克•卡尔德洛尼在上述许多策略调整措施的幕后发挥了积极有益的作用。我们有幸对他进行了采访,和他一起探讨了思科派发巨额股息背后的策略、思科目前复兴措施的进展以及如何才能提振公司股价等问题。

《财富》:思科为什么在这么多年之后决定开始派发股息呢?

    卡尔德洛尼:我们目前的处境很幸运,我们在资产负债表上拥有接近500亿美元的现金。鉴于我们拥有这么多现金,加上我们良好的财务业绩,我们的股东们对获得良好的回报都很感兴趣。多年来,我们主要致力于通过从2002年开始的股票回购计划来给他们提供大量的回报。但我们通过听取股东们的意见,了解了他们最重视的东西是什么之后,发现他们希望思科派发股息。我们向股票持有者派发股息的部分原因是我们手头拥有大量现金,但还有部分原因是投资者越来越希望公司派息的这个趋势。

    大约两年前,我们开始派发股息。而在今年8月份,我们做了一个非常大胆的举动——大幅提高了股息,现在我们成为股息收益率最高的公司之一。我们还为未来制定了一个框架,我们称之为资本分配策略。就是说,每年,以年度为基础,我们将把50%的现金流回报给股东们。投资者希望在回报方面获得更多的确定性,他们希望我们做出某种对公司未来业务有信心的表现。我们预计我们的业绩将会持续增长,持续产生现金,而我们愿意把这些现金回报给他们。

思科的整体战略进展如何?

    大约在一年前,我们改变了业务发展策略,不再追逐许多不同的业务市场机会,而是更加专注于我们的五大优先发展的基本核心业务。我们公司内部为此开展了大量的工作,确定了负责这五大基本核心业务的领导人,并且确保这些领导人设有合适的业绩衡量标准。一年多前,我们还不得不将运营成本削减10亿美元。我认为投资者很欣赏这项计划。我们曾表示需要约三个季度的时间来完成这项计划,但我们在大约两个季度的时间内就完成了,因此他们对此留下了深刻的印象。我认为,由于10亿美元绝不是一个小数目,而且投资者知道削减成本并不是一件容易的事,因此他们最初对此有些怀疑。在那次削减成本的计划中,我们采取的其他措施之一是为投资者重新构造财务业绩增长模型。也就是说,我们放弃了几年前制定的年营收增长12%-17%的四年战略目标。由于把专注目标重新调整到五大基本核心业务上,我们将之前的年营收增长目标下调到了5%-7%之间。

削减成本是一个方面,但未来五年思科的营收增长将从何而来?

    目前数据中心业务显示的很可能是我们最高的业绩增速。数年前我们尚未涉足数据中心业务,而现在,从市场份额的角度来看,我们已经成为第三大数据中心服务供应商。我们拥有非常先进的数据中心产品,而且我们预计这种趋势将会持续下去;其次我想说的是网络安全业务,还有无线以及Wi-Fi网络和视频及协作领域正在出现的进展。还有我们的服务业务——我们在这块业务中看到了更多的软件和服务的机遇。

    Cisco's (CSCO) days of double-digit growth may be over, but the tech giant has made some smart moves over the last couple of years—like cutting costs, focusing in on its most promising businesses, and giving out a quarterly dividend to shareholders for the first time in its nearly 30-year-long history. As the company's chief financial officer, Frank Calderoni has played an instrumental -- and behind-the-scenes -- role in many of these shifts. We caught up with him to discuss the strategy behind Cisco's hefty dividend, how its turnaround efforts are working out and what it will take to get its stock back up.

FORTUNE: Why did you decide to start paying a dividend after so many years?

    Calderoni: We're in a fortunate situation where we have close to $50 billion on our balance sheet. As a result of the amount of cash and our financial performance we have a shareholder base that's interested in getting a good return. For a number of years we were primarily focused on providing them a substantial return of cash through our buyback, which we started in 2002. But what we found by listening to our shareholders and understanding what's important to them is that they wanted capital allocation. Part of it has to do with the amount of cash that we have, but also there's been a growing trend with investors to look at a dividend.

    About two years ago we introduced a dividend. And just this past August we made a very bold step of an aggressive increase in the dividend to the point that now we're one of the highest paying yielding dividends. We also laid out a framework for the future which we call the capital allocation strategy. This says that every year, on an annual basis, we will return 50% of our cash flow. Investors wanted more certainty and they were looking for a statement from us that we felt comfortable about our business going forward. We see our business continuing to grow continuing to generate cash and that we're willing to return that cash.

How is Cisco's overall strategy working out?

    If you step back over the last year or so, we have transformed the business and moved away from going after many different opportunities and are staying more focused around our five foundational priorities. We did a lot of work internally around that, and identified business leaders to drive those foundational priorities and made sure they had the right metrics. We also had to take $1 billion out of our run rate over a year ago. I think the investors were appreciative of that. We said we'd do it in about three quarters, and we did it in about two quarters, so they were impressed with that. I think there were some skeptics early on because of the magnitude of the $1 billion and knowing that it's not easy. One of the other things that we did as part of that process was to reframe the financial model for investors. So we were talking about larger growth opportunity in the 12% to 17% range back several years ago. With the refocus on the five foundational priorities we took that rate and said 5% to 7% revenue growth.

Cutting costs is one thing, but where will your revenue growth come from over the next few years?

    The data center business is probably showing the highest growth. If you go back a few years ago we were not in the data center market, now we're now number three from a market share perspective. We've got very leading-edge products in the data center and we see that continuing. The second thing I would say is security. There's also wireless and what's happening with wi-fi networks and video and collaboration. And there's our services business--with that we see more of a software and services opportunity.

1 2 下一页

我来点评

  最新文章

最新文章:

500强情报中心

财富专栏