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Cramer: Cisco CEO Lured by the Dark Side

Editor's Note: This article was originally published at 7:18 a.m. EDT on Real Money on August 15. To see Jim Cramer's latest commentary as it's published, sign up for a free trial of Real Money.

NEW YORK (Real Money) -- Maybe Cisco (CSCO) CEO John Chambers is a closet chartist? Maybe that's how you can explain Cisco's now-maddening multi-year inconsistency?

While we have the soup-to-nuts analysis of the quarter and its strengths and weaknesses -- many more strengths than weaknesses by the way -- all told concisely and succinctly in an Action Alerts PLUS bulletin, I have to tell you that looking at a two-year chart may be the best way to figure out what's going to happen to Cisco (the stock, not the company).

Given that we trade and invest in stocks, not products (something I wish Chambers would figure out already), the chart's very telling. Every time the stock gaps up off of good news, it's almost as if Chambers says, "you know what, we have to fill in that gap. We've got to have the stock retrace a great deal of that upward bolt to get it on a more sustainable growth path."

Chambers has become the master of the technical. He knows, for example, that business is really smoking in most places and that the share take is good and the U.S. is strong and that Europe is coming back. He knows that while China is slow, this isn't Joy Global (JOY) or Cummins (CMI). Heck, it's less than 5% of sales. It's more like Google (GOOG)! Japan's weak, for certain, but it is lapping some huge numbers. So what does Chambers dwell on? The weak MACRO environment, even as sales were much better than the macro environment and will be better than that. In other words, he talked his stock down and where she stops, well, oddly, the chart knows. That's because the pattern's been that when Chambers goes dark on us in the commentary he takes the stock down to slightly above where the last gap up started. That analysis, which is more consistent than anything else I have seen, says the stock goes to $21.85. Hey, I will be as precise in the chart work as he is with the region-by-region order growth.

OK, maybe I am being somewhat facetious about him being a chartist, but I am not at all being facetious about what is going on here. Cisco had a real good quarter and if the stock had been up, say, 12% and not 34% going into this quarter, I think it might be flat today or even, yes, slightly up because I think Chambers could have skewed the outlook more positively than he did last night. 

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