Cisco Systems Inc, the world's biggest networking equipment maker, reported quarterly earnings above Wall Street projections as profit margins beat its own expectations.

Cisco shares rose more than 4 percent in extended trading.

The results came as Chief Executive John Chambers is working to turn around the Silicon Valley bellwether which he conceded last month has lost its way in recent years during an expansive diversification campaign.

This relieves a bit of investor concern in the near term, said Gleacher & Co analyst Brian Marshall. While April results look decent relative to expectations we've longer term issues the company needs to address.

The company on Wednesday reported profit, excluding items, of 42 cents per share, for the fiscal third quarter ended April 30, beating the average analyst forecast of 37 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

It delivered a non-GAAP gross margin of 63.9 percent, ahead of its own forecast of 62 to 63 percent.

Net income fell to $1.8 billion, or 33 cents per share, from $2.2 billion, or 37 cents per share, a year earlier.

Cisco shares rose 4.2 percent to $18.53 from their Nasdaq close of $17.78.

(Reporting by Jim Finkle; Editing by Richard Chang)