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November 03, 1998| Bloomberg News

Cisco Systems shares rose 2.7% on Monday to a four-week high amid optimism that the top computer networking company will report strong fiscal first-quarter revenue and earnings growth Wednesday.

Cisco rose $1.69 to close at $64.69 on Nasdaq. The shares have gained 47% since Oct. 7, the last day of a sell-off in the stock sparked by fears that a slowdown in communications equipment spending would trim Cisco's growth.

Unlike large telephone equipment makers such as Northern Telecom Ltd. and Alcatel, which have warned of slowing sales of voice communications equipment, San Jose-based Cisco has said sales growth of its Internet gear remains strong. Analysts expect the company to report sales of $2.5 billion for its first quarter ended Oct. 24, up more than 30% from a year earlier.

Cisco is expected to earn 33 cents a share for the quarter, based on the average estimate of analysts polled by First Call Corp., when it reports results Wednesday after the close of U.S. markets. That would be up from 26 cents a share on revenue of $1.87 billion a year ago.

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