NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- I think for the first half of 2012 the market has done a decent job putting to rest several old adages that I (shamefully) had latched onto, many of which have proven to be not only unfounded but (in my opinion) just blatant lies.One of these myths is that dividend-paying stocks such as Microsoft ( MSFT) and Intel ( INTC) could no longer be growth stocks. In fact, not only has this proven to be untrue, it has actually produced the opposite result -- these performers include such names as (underrated) Oracle ( ORCL) as well as several large dividend payers that have contributed to the gains that each of the major indices have experienced so far on the year. The Case for Cisco However, in Wall Street's unrelenting appetite for growth, investors continue to discount dividend-paying companies that are considered "mature" can also grow. I guess it can be argued dividend payers have been somewhat misunderstood. However, not all of them are the same. Take Cisco ( CSCO), which continues to have its share of critics. There are many who remain unimpressed by what it has been able to do of late -- a feat that includes a string of several consecutive earnings beats. For analysts, the major question continues to be, where is the value? This is the challenge that Cisco has failed to meet. However, it is not because the stock is completely void of potential premiums. Instead, investors just have to be willing to look. The Case for Microsoft To find these gems investors have to first consider their investment objectives and first make up their minds on exactly which stocks they think fit the performance criteria they hope to attain. Microsoft presents the perfect case. For as much as it has been in the news recently for many possible upward catalysts, for reasons that I can't quite comprehend the stock continues to languish. Though the company will most likely never grow at the rate that it once did, there are plenty of positives to inspire an entry at current levels -- not the least of which has to do with its rave reviews for the anticipated release of its Windows8 OS.