Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Wednesday. They currently have $46.00 target price 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 analysts have also issued reports on CSCO. Needham & Company LLC restated a hold rating on shares of Cisco Systems in a report on Tuesday, September 19th. Vetr lowered shares of Cisco Systems from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $34.13 price objective on the stock. in a report on Monday, September 25th. Oppenheimer restated a buy rating and issued a $36.00 price objective on shares of Cisco Systems in a report on Monday, September 25th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Cisco Systems from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, September 26th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets restated a hold rating and issued a $32.00 price objective on shares of Cisco Systems in a report on Thursday, September 28th. Thirteen analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-two have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $38.80.

Shares of Cisco Systems (NASDAQ CSCO) traded down $0.01 on Wednesday, reaching $41.29. 24,469,262 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 19,720,000. The stock has a market cap of $204,120.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.39, a P/E/G ratio of 3.73 and a beta of 1.19. Cisco Systems has a 12-month low of $29.92 and a 12-month high of $41.52. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39, a quick ratio of 2.81 and a current ratio of 2.87.

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 15th. The network equipment provider reported $0.61 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.60 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $12.14 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $12.11 billion. Cisco Systems had a net margin of 20.26% and a return on equity of 16.64%. Cisco Systems’s revenue was down 1.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.61 EPS. research analysts anticipate that Cisco Systems will post 2.21 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 24th. Stockholders of record on Friday, January 5th will be given a dividend of $0.29 per share. This represents a $1.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.81%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, January 4th. Cisco Systems’s dividend payout ratio is presently 60.10%.

In other news, CAO Prat Bhatt sold 2,606 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.49, for a total transaction of $95,092.94. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief accounting officer now directly owns 89,184 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,254,324.16. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, SVP Rebecca Jacoby sold 75,021 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $38.42, for a total value of $2,882,306.82. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 257,476 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,892,227.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 348,643 shares of company stock valued at $12,892,271. Corporate insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Vantage Financial Partners Ltd. Inc. acquired a new position in Cisco Systems in the second quarter valued at approximately $231,000. Stonehearth Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in Cisco Systems in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $102,000. Barnett & Company Inc. boosted its holdings in Cisco Systems by 1,511.5% in the second quarter. Barnett & Company Inc. now owns 3,223 shares of the network equipment provider’s stock valued at $101,000 after purchasing an additional 3,023 shares in the last quarter. Tortoise Investment Management LLC boosted its holdings in Cisco Systems by 36.1% in the second quarter. Tortoise Investment Management LLC now owns 3,309 shares of the network equipment provider’s stock valued at $104,000 after purchasing an additional 878 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Mountain Capital Investment Advisors Inc acquired a new position in Cisco Systems in the second quarter valued at approximately $104,000. 75.60% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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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