Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) is set to release its earnings report for the three months through September this afternoon after the market closes. The quarter, which Cisco records as its first of 2014, is hoped to signal a return to optimism from the company. The firm’s recent releases have caused a slump in the price of its shares through the second half of 2013.

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In the run-up to the release of this earnings report, 36 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg were looking for consensus earnings of 51 cents per share from Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO). Consensus revenue expectations came to $12.4 billion. Those expectations show an appreciable amount of growth over last year’s numbers.

Cisco Systems earnings

In the same three months of 2013 Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) managed to earn 48 cents per share. The company showed revenue of $11.9 billion for the period. It’s not the first quarter of 2013 that investors will be thinking about heading into earnings, however. The company’s last quarter of financial year 2013 will weigh heavily on their minds.

Despite reporting better than expected earnings and in-line revenue in its last earnings report, the release caused a sharp fall in the company’s stock price. In the report executives at Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) revealed that the company had low expectations for the second half of calendar 2013, and announced that it was going to lay off some of its staff.

That revelation leaves investors nervous about this afternoon’s report. Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO). Stock in Cisco was flat through trading on Wednesday, and the month leading into earnings has seen the stock gain only 1.8%, far behind Nasdaq gains of 3.6%.

Cisco system performance

Despite the difficulties of the last few months, Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) shares have not underperformed by that wide of a margin through the full yer so far. The company’s stock has gained more than 20% since January 1, lagging behind the near 30% the Nasdaq has added and the near 24% the S&P 500 has put on. The firm’s shareholders shouldn’t be too upset by a 20% gain.

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) management will host an earnings call at 4:30 PM EST in order to discuss the first quarter earnings report. The company’s shareholders will want to hear about the company’s restructuring plans, and its plans to drive growth through 2014.