Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) announced its earnings results for the first three months of 2013 this afternoon after the market closed. The firm revealed that it had earned 51 cents per share in the period, on revenues totalling $12.22 billion. On today’s market the company’s shares finished down a fraction, but after the market closed the company’s shares were surging upward.

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In the run up to this earnings announcement, analysts following the company were looking for earnings of 49 cents per share on revenues of $12.2 billion. In the same three months of 2013, Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) earned 48 cents per share on revenues of $11.6 billion. In the hours leading up to the earnings announcement, whisper numbers suggested that the company would earn couple of cent above analysts’ estimates.

This quarter, which is the third fiscal quarter for Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO), saw the firm put up a gross margin of 63 percent. Cisco’s gross margin is one of the most important measures of its profitability, and its future earnings. In the fourth quarter of 2012, the firm’s gross margin came in at 62.3%. analysts were looking for a gross margin of 61.9% from this earnings report.

The most important indicators for Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) for the rest of 2013 are whether or not the company can manage to keep its gross margin as high as it did this quarter, and the success of the company’s acquisitions as it continues to assimilate the firms into its company.

The firm has been on a run of acquisitions in recent times as it continues attempts to keep control of its core business. Last month, Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) decided to acquire Ubiquisys for just over $310 billion. Other recent purchases that Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) has made include Intucell Ltd for $475 million, and Meraki Inc. for $1.2 billion.

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) has gained some fans in the hedge fund world in recent years. The company is a major player in the technology industry and it is, for some investors at least, systemically important. Many investors believe that the company’s business is too functionally necessary that it is unlikely to be replaced in the medium term.

So far in 2013, shares in Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) have risen by close to 8%. The firm’s shares have lagged major indices, like the Nasdaq, which has gained close to 15% so far in 2013, and the S&P 500, which has gained more than 16% since January 1.