Dow Today: Verizon Communications (VZ) Leads The Day Higher, Cisco Systems (CSCO) Lags

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) is trading down 29.0 points (-0.2%) at 13,953 as of Thursday, Feb 14, 2013, 9:35 a.m. ET. During this time, 102.2 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 619.1 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 695 issues advancing vs. 1,732 declining with 162 unchanged.
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The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), which is sporting a 15-cent gain (+0.3%) bringing the stock to $44.67. Volume for Verizon Communications currently sits at three million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 13.2 million shares.

Verizon Communications has a market cap of $126.83 billion and is part of the technology sector and telecommunications industry. Shares are up 2.7% year to date as of Wednesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 4.6%.

Verizon Communications Inc. provides communications, information, and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental agencies worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 143.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Verizon Communications as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity.

Holding back the Dow today is Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a 48-cent decline (-2.3%) bringing the stock to $20.66. This single loss is lowering the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 3.63 points or roughly accounting for 12.5% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for Cisco Systems currently sits at 11.2 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 36.5 million shares.

Cisco Systems has a market cap of $111.33 billion and is part of the technology sector and computer hardware industry. Shares are up 6.7% year to date as of Wednesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.7%.

Cisco Systems, Inc. designs, manufactures, and sells Internet protocol (IP) based networking and other products related to the communications and information technology industries worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Cisco Systems as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

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