It's down 32% in the past year, but may have, finally, found bottom as management sheds costs and laggard units, and focuses on its lead-market-share businesses of switches and routers. Yesterday, it leaked that Cisco is planning 10,000 job cuts.
Although it's in poor taste to applaud the firing of workers, publicly traded businesses exist to maximize shareholder wealth, and unnecessary workers detract from that mandate. Cisco, which recently initiated a dividend and bought back shares, is desperately trying to appease the market. It's now resorted to cost cuts and margin expansion. It closed its Flip camera business in April and rumors are circulating that it plans to sell its Linksys home-router division and its set-top-box operations. A nimble Cisco is emerging.
According to insiders, 7,000 workers will be dismissed and 3,000 will receive early-retirement packages. Cost savings are forecast to total $1 billion for fiscal 2012, a hefty figure. CEO John Chambers is determined to right-size the company and recapture market share from the likes of Juniper Networks (JNPR) and Alcatel-Lucent (ALU). Juniper's stock has risen 20% in 12 months, but is down 15% in 2011. Alcatel's has doubled in the past year and appreciated 87% in 2011. Cisco's stock has rebounded 5.1% from its recent 52-week low.But, Cisco's earnings report, due Aug. 10, will likely be lackluster. In past quarters, guidance reductions have hammered the shares. They corrected 4.8%, 14%, 16%, 10% and 5.3%, in reverse sequence, following the past five quarterly reports. In sum, Cisco has been a terrible stock to own around announcements. Last quarter, the company delivered 42 cents of adjusted earnings, flat year-over-year, but exceeding analysts' projections by 14%, and its stock still fell on the release. Cisco seems to understand the market's criticism and is now making strides to streamline operations and reward stockholders. Its shares are quite cheap. Cisco currently trades at a forward earnings multiple of 9.3, a book value multiple of 1.9, a sales multiple of 2.0 and a cash flow multiple of 8.4, 56%, 41%, 47% and 63% discounts to communications equipment peer averages. Cisco ranks among the cheapest Dow components, based on a variety of peer valuation metrics. It also carries a net cash position (cash minus debt) of nearly $27 billion, boasting a quick ratio of 3.1, well above the highly liquid threshold of 1. Despite a pristine balance sheet, the normally acquisitive company has tapered its buyouts, having purchased three small-scale techs in 2011, thus far. Chambers was pushing for a juicy cash-repatriation holiday, which is rapidly decreasing in likelihood.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
24/7 market commentary from Jim Cramer and 20+ veteran Wall Street gurus. Get access to the latest trading ideas on stocks, options, and ETFs as well as a real-time forum to see the pros exchanging their investment ideas.
- Jim Cramer + 20 Wall Street pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Real-time trading forum
- Actionable trade ideas
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV