Shares of Cisco Systems (CSCO) - Get Report have soared almost 9%, reaching a session high on Wednesday at $29. As expected, shares jumped after the networking giant delivered better-than expected earnings.
What should you do now? Take profits.
Not everyone feels that way, of course. TheStreet's Jim Cramer, whose Action Alerts PLUS portfolio holds Cisco, says the stock is cheap while the CEO, Charles Robbins, has expanded Cisco's security business and stepped up its penetration into China. He and Research Director Jack Mohr have a $30 price target on the stock and said they "bulked up" on shares earlier in the month.
Cisco, they recently said, is "being valued as a mature 'old tech' business despite its burgeoning cloud presence, which we anticipate will drive outsized earnings growth over the long term."
Cisco's shares closed Wednesday at $28.92, up 1.6%. The shares are now up 6.7%, compared with a 2.3% rise in the S&P 500 (SPX) index. Although the stock can still march higher, thanks to Cisco's fundamental improvements, there's a chance it can retest the 100-day moving average at around $26.35. See Cisco's chart, courtesy of TradingView.
Cisco's trading pattern has become somewhat predictable. The arrows above show the range the stock has traded in since the end of March after its strong move from the February lows. This time, the stock broke resistance at $28.55. Interestingly, Wednesday's peak at $29 resembles a line in the sand, suggesting the market don't believe the stock deserve to move higher.
As it stands, the shares will need to confirm $28.50 can become the new support before they can move higher. Fundamentally, Cisco's business is still strong. Betting on a decline of the stock is not an indictment on its business. With $30 being the stock's consensus analyst 12-month target, suggesting only a 3% upward move, that's not enough of a premium to risk a correction back to $26.50, or near its 100-day moving average.
With the stock already outperforming the market, combined with its status as a slow-growth bellwether, the excitement over its earnings will disappear, sending the stock back down, repeating the pattern it has displayed over the past three months.
In short, taking profits now is safest the play, until the chart says otherwise.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.