Cisco Systems (CSCO) Raised to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Wednesday, January 17th. The brokerage currently has $46.00 price target on the network equipment provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of the IP-based networking company, Cisco have outperformed the industry over the past one year. Recently, it unveiled the Cisco Security Connector, which is now available in the App Store on iOS devices. We believe that the company’s expanding footprint in the rapidly growing security market presents significant growth opportunity. Additionally, partnerships with Telenor, Apple, IBM and Microsoft are positive in our view. Additionally, the company’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) solution is currently used by more than 4K customers. The ACI solution was recently enhanced with new features that have aided growth. Further, the planned acquisition of Broadsoft will boost company's recurring revenue base. Moreover, the company's collaboration with Google Cloud to offer hybrid cloud solution is a key catalyst. However, intense competition from peers and challenges in the emerging markets reamins a headwind.”

Several other equities research analysts have also recently commented on the company. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed an overweight rating and set a $44.00 target price on shares of Cisco Systems in a research note on Wednesday, January 10th. BidaskClub raised Cisco Systems from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note on Friday, January 5th. Bank of America raised Cisco Systems from a neutral rating to a buy rating and raised their target price for the stock from $38.99 to $46.00 in a research note on Friday, January 5th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Vetr raised Cisco Systems from a sell rating to a hold rating and set a $38.01 target price for the company in a research note on Wednesday, December 27th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $40.00 target price on shares of Cisco Systems in a research note on Thursday, December 14th. Thirteen analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-two have assigned a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $39.54.

Shares of Cisco Systems (CSCO) traded up $0.76 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $39.53. The stock had a trading volume of 47,947,702 shares, compared to its average volume of 27,140,000. The firm has a market capitalization of $195,420.00, a PE ratio of 20.48, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.55 and a beta of 1.23. The company has a current ratio of 2.87, a quick ratio of 2.81 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39. Cisco Systems has a 12 month low of $30.36 and a 12 month high of $42.98.

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, November 15th. The network equipment provider reported $0.61 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.60 by $0.01. Cisco Systems had a return on equity of 16.64% and a net margin of 20.26%. The business had revenue of $12.14 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $12.11 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.61 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was down 1.7% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts forecast that Cisco Systems will post 2.23 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 24th. Stockholders of record on Friday, January 5th were issued a $0.29 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, January 4th. This represents a $1.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.93%. Cisco Systems’s dividend payout ratio is presently 60.10%.

In other news, insider John T. Chambers sold 250,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.50, for a total value of $9,125,000.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 712,736 shares in the company, valued at $26,014,864. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, SVP Rebecca Jacoby sold 75,021 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, December 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $38.42, for a total value of $2,882,306.82. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 257,476 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,892,227.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 348,643 shares of company stock worth $12,892,271 in the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Guinness Asset Management Ltd lifted its holdings in Cisco Systems by 25.5% during the second quarter. Guinness Asset Management Ltd now owns 474,871 shares of the network equipment provider’s stock worth $14,864,000 after acquiring an additional 96,500 shares during the period. BKD Wealth Advisors LLC increased its position in Cisco Systems by 4.6% in the second quarter. BKD Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 119,422 shares of the network equipment provider’s stock worth $3,738,000 after buying an additional 5,263 shares during the last quarter. Cardinal Capital Management Inc. increased its position in Cisco Systems by 5.7% in the second quarter. Cardinal Capital Management Inc. now owns 466,439 shares of the network equipment provider’s stock worth $14,600,000 after buying an additional 25,290 shares during the last quarter. Hellman Jordan Management Co. Inc. MA purchased a new stake in Cisco Systems in the second quarter worth $1,120,000. Finally, Capital One National Association increased its position in Cisco Systems by 1.3% in the second quarter. Capital One National Association now owns 137,293 shares of the network equipment provider’s stock worth $4,297,000 after buying an additional 1,720 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 75.64% of the company’s stock.

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About Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems, Inc designs and sells a range of products, provides services and delivers integrated solutions to develop and connect networks around the world. The Company operates through three geographic segments: Americas; Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Asia Pacific, Japan and China (APJC).

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