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First up is
Cisco Systems (
CSCO), the $139 billion IT networking giant. Cisco is having a good year in 2013; shares of the firm have rallied more than 32% since the first trading session of the year. And while that's overshadowed Cisco's 2.62% dividend payout, investors shouldn't ignore the income right now -- they could be due for a raise.
Cisco Systems is the 800-pound gorilla in the IT infrastructure business; the firm is the world's biggest supplier of routers, switches and software used to network devices. With Internet traffic still growing at a breakneck pace, demand for Cisco's mission-critical tools remains strong sellers for enterprise customers. Size matters for Cisco. Because Cisco's gear is designed to plug-and-play with other Cisco components, IT departments that buy Cisco products can often see much lower integration and ongoing technical support costs.
All of that translates into a fortress balance sheet. Currently, Cisco sports more than $33 billion in net cash, a balance that accounts for almost a quarter of the firm's total market capitalization. That gives Cisco plenty of wherewithal to hike its dividend payout to counter the increased share price in 2013 and keep its yield stable.