Cisco in the Zone

Shares hit a new high as earnings await Wednesday.
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Cisco (CSCO) - Get Report soared 4.5% to a 52-week high as investors geared up for Wednesday's postclose earnings report.

Monday's gain came as the market put in a broad, merger-fueled rally, led by bids for hotel chain

Four Seasons

(FS)

and steak broiler

Outback

(OSI)

.

But make no mistake, Cisco shares have been zooming ever since the San Jose, Calif., networking giant boosted financial guidance during last quarter's earnings conference call. Shares are up 44% since trading closed Aug. 8, the day before CEO John Chambers notched up Cisco's fiscal 2007 growth targets.

This time around, analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial will be looking for a fiscal first-quarter profit of 29 cents a share on revenue of $7.9 billion.

At midafternoon Monday, Cisco was up $1.03 to $24.80 after earlier hitting a new high at $24.85.