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Cisco Systems Is not 'Dead Money'

Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, finds you Stocks Under $10 picks with explosive upside potential. See what he's trading today with a 14-day FREE pass.

After the last quarterly earnings release, shares traded as high as $19.73 on Sept. 6. So at Friday's closing price of $16.82, the price-per-share has corrected nearly 15%. On Aug. 15, CEO John Chambers made the following comments about the previous quarter that investors and potential investors may want to keep in mind ahead of this Tuesday's release.

"As a result of our strong performance, continued execution on our plan to deliver profitable growth, and commitment to shareholders, for the full fiscal year, we delivered revenue growth of 7% as well as a record year in revenue and earnings per share," stated Chambers, who is also Cisco's chairman.

"Our strategy -- delivering intelligent networks and technology architectures, built on integrated products, services and software platforms, to fuel our customers' businesses -- is proving the right long-term strategy for our success. There is no question that our industry and our world are evolving quickly and Cisco is squarely at the center of major technology market transitions -- cloud, mobile, visual, virtual and social."

If you haven't done so recently, carefully peruse CSCO's uncomplicated and revealing Web site. It is a transparent look of a company that is slowly reinventing itself to keep up with the fast-changing world of the products and services it creates and sells.

The five-year chart below compares CSCO's share price history with its diluted quarterly year-over-year earnings per share results. It may also suggest that if CSCO meets or beats on revenue and EPS this Tuesday, the share price may follow the trajectory of the quarterly EPS as shown on the chart.

CSCO Chart CSCO data by YCharts

Another interesting fact to keep in mind is that CEO Chambers still owns over 2.623 million shares and Chief Operating Officer Gary Moore owns nearly 1.03 million shares. The Vanguard Group owns approximately 4.37% of CSCO's outstanding shares. That's around 232 million shares and is a stake worth close to $4 billion.

If you're tempted to buy shares ahead of the earnings announcement one strategy you might employ is for every 100 shares you're buying, buy a November put with a $17 strike price that expires by the end of the week. Or play it safe and wait until you've learned the cold, hard facts of the last quarter as well as the guidance for next quarter and the year ahead.

Either way you'll come out OK in the short run and hopefully have a nice total return between now and the end of January 2013. With its current 1.14 PEG ratio (5-year expected) and selling for just 8 times forward earnings, CSCO looks attractively priced.

At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the companies mentioned.

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real money portfolio for his charitable trust- enjoy advance notice of every trade, full access to the portfolio, and deep coverage of the latest economic events and market movements.
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