TheStreet's Jim Cramer, who holds Cisco in his charitable trust Action Alerts PLUS, said Cisco is the "leader in the overall network equipment market with a roughly 50% share and sports a net cash balance of roughly $36 billion."
"We believe the company is being valued as a mature, 'old-tech' business despite its burgeoning cloud presence, which should lead to outsized earnings growth over the long term," according to Cramer and AAP Research Director Jack Mohr. "Its powerful capital allocation program -- marked by a 3.75% dividend yield and massive buyback program -- pay investors as they sit back and witness the market re-rate shares to the upside."
Also important, according to Cramer and Mohr, is Cisco's continuing moves to "diversify its business away from legacy switching and routing and toward a software-focused, recurring revenue-based model. The company's long-term goal of growing 3% to 6% in aggregate is reasonable and we think its ability to make key, tuck-in acquisitions will help reach its targets."
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Need another reason to buy? Cisco management will send you a nice dividend check if you buy shares by Monday. With its shares around $28, that 3.75% dividend payout is much higher than the 2% yield paid out by the average stock in the S&P 500 (SPX) index. Cisco just raised its dividend to 26 cents a share from 21 cents. Shareholders of record April 6 get a check April 27.
Cisco's stock is up 2.7% for the year to date and has a consensus buy rating. It is priced attractively at just 12 times fiscal 2016 estimates of $2.30 per share, compared with a forward price to earnings multiple of 17 for the S&P 500 index.
What's more, with a net cash position of roughly $36 billion, Cisco, which just boosted its stock buyback program by $15 billion, has tons of ways to return cash to shareholders in 2016 and 2017. So investors who are looking for a safe, large-cap, tech stock that offers solid long-term value and pays a great dividend should buy Cisco now.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.