The recent run-up in
continues to strike some analysts as overheated in the absence of convincing signs of demand in this year's second half.
The latest to voice skepticism is SoundView, which downgraded the shares Tuesday to neutral from outperform and maintained its $17.50 price target -- pennies above where the stock began the day. In recent premarket trading on Instinet, Cisco was down 31 cents, or 2%, to $16.93.
"We have seen little improvement in the moderate momentum exiting April, which was primarily the result of moderate pent-up demand following a weak February/March," SoundView wrote. "Given the stock's run and the lack of tangible evidence that the second-half growth outlook has improved, we see no fundamental reason to raise our $17.50 target."
Cisco's shares are up almost 25% from March 11, a rally SoundView attributes to investors' belief that a mild recovery is underway.
"With fundamentals still unchanged, our calendar 2004 estimates already baking in a more-than-moderate recovery, and what we view as minimal leverage in the model, we see little evidence to support shares advancing ahead of the market at these levels."