Cisco Systems (CSCO) Upgraded to “Buy” by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Wednesday morning. The firm currently has $50.00 target price on the network equipment provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Cisco reported impressive second-quarter fiscal 2018 results. Both earnings and revenues increased on a year-over-year basis. The growth was driven by strong contribution from acquisitions, security, Infrastructure Platforms and applications. We believe that the company’s expanding footprint in the rapidly growing security market presents significant growth opportunity. Additionally, partnerships with Telenor, Apple, IBM, Microsoft, Google Cloud, Viacom and Alibaba are positive in our view. Moreover, aggressive share buyback is positive. In the past-12 months, shares have outperformed the industry it belongs to. However, weakness in the switching and routing is a headwind. Moreover, ongoing transition to subscription-based model will continue to hurt the top line. Further, weakness in the service provider business segment and intense competition from the likes of Huawei, Juniper and Arista Networks are other major concerns.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. Barclays increased their price target on Cisco Systems from $37.00 to $45.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a report on Wednesday, January 17th. Oppenheimer reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $36.00 target price on shares of Cisco Systems in a research report on Tuesday, October 31st. Vetr lowered Cisco Systems from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $35.78 target price on the stock. in a research report on Friday, November 17th. Cowen reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Cisco Systems in a research report on Friday, November 17th. Finally, Deutsche Bank reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $45.00 target price (up from $40.00) on shares of Cisco Systems in a research report on Thursday, November 16th. Ten equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-six have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $43.66.

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) opened at $43.31 on Wednesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $212,259.86, a P/E ratio of 19.85, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.16 and a beta of 1.23. Cisco Systems has a twelve month low of $30.36 and a twelve month high of $45.13. The company has a current ratio of 2.43, a quick ratio of 2.38 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.49.

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 14th. The network equipment provider reported $0.63 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.59 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $11.89 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $11.82 billion. Cisco Systems had a positive return on equity of 17.77% and a negative net margin of 3.00%. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.57 EPS. sell-side analysts anticipate that Cisco Systems will post 2.32 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Cisco Systems announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, February 14th that allows the company to buyback $25.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the network equipment provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, April 25th. Investors of record on Thursday, April 5th will be given a $0.33 dividend. This is a positive change from Cisco Systems’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.29. This represents a $1.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.05%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, April 4th. Cisco Systems’s dividend payout ratio is presently -362.50%.

In other news, Director Roderick C. Mcgeary sold 15,230 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $38.00, for a total transaction of $578,740.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 113,154 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,299,852. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Arun Sarin sold 14,189 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.10, for a total value of $625,734.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 104,440 shares of company stock valued at $4,086,782. Insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in CSCO. Vantage Financial Partners Ltd. Inc. bought a new position in shares of Cisco Systems during the 2nd quarter worth $231,000. IFG Advisory LLC bought a new position in shares of Cisco Systems during the 4th quarter worth $2,375,000. Stonehearth Capital Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Cisco Systems during the 4th quarter worth $102,000. Keeler Thomas Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Cisco Systems during the 4th quarter worth $108,000. Finally, Goodman Financial Corp bought a new position in shares of Cisco Systems during the 4th quarter worth $115,000. 75.06% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Cisco Systems Company Profile

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).

Analyst Recommendations for Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO)

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