Cisco Systems Inc., world's largest maker of computer networking gear, says earnings fell 21 percent in its latest quarter, but results managed to surpass analyst' estimates.

The San Jose, Calif.-based company said net income fell to $1.3 billion, or 23 cents per share, in its third quarter ended April 25, compared with $1.8 billion, or 29 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter.

The company said quarterly profit fell 24 percent from a year earlier but still beat Wall Street forecasts.

Excluding the cost of stock-based compensation and other items, Cisco's earnings are 30 cents per share, 5 cents above the average forecast of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

Sales fell 17 percent to $8.2 billion but also beat analyst expectations.

Cisco delivered solid financial performance despite a challenging global economy and period of evolving market dynamics, said John Chambers, Cisco's chief executive.

As we exit the quarter with a compelling financial position and an innovation engine from both a products and business model perspective, we believe we are well-positioned for the eventual economic recovery.