6. Cisco (CSCO) makes networking equipment, with dominant market share in switches and routers.
Cisco's sales have risen 19% in the past 12 months and its net income has expanded 25%. Cisco's fiscal second-quarter net margin contracted from 19% to 15%, but remained outstanding relative to peers. Cisco's trailing 12-month pre-tax margin, at 21%, ranks in the 89th percentile for the tech sector.Yet, Cisco's effective tax rate, for fiscal 2010, was less than 18%, well below the top U.S. rate of 30% and down from its rate of 20% in 2009 and 21% in 2008. Cisco paid $1.5 billion in 2010 of current taxes to the U.S., enjoying a deferred benefit of $425 million.
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