Cisco prospers with acquisitions and research

Article Excerpt

CISCO SYSTEMS INC. $47 (Nasdaq symbol CSCO; High-Growth Dividend Payer Portfolio, Manufacturing sector; Shares outstanding: 4.5 billion; Market cap: $211.5 billion; Dividend yield: 2.8%; Dividend Sustainability Rating: Above Average; www.cisco.com) makes hardware and software that links and manages computer networks. The company paid its first quarterly dividend of $0.06 a share in March 2011. Since then, it has increased that payout eight times. The current quarterly dividend of $0.33 offers an annualized yield of 2.8%. Cisco continues to face strong competition from cheaper generic routers and switches. In response, it has shifted into faster-growing markets such as computer security systems and software. It’s also selling some of its legacy operations. Due to those transactions, the company’s revenue rose 4.5%, from $47.1 billion in 2014 to $49.2 billion in 2016 (fiscal years end July 31). Revenue dipped to $48.0 billion in 2017, but rebounded to $49.3 billion in 2018. If you exclude unusual items, Cisco’s overall earnings gained 16.9%, from $10.9 billion in 2014 to $12.7 billion in…

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