There's clear demand for income stocks in this market right now. 

Despite rising rates, investors are flocking to these stocks not just for yield necessarily, but for retirement safety too. Are they wrong to do so? Not necessarily.

When investors can nab a high-quality, dividend-paying stock at a reasonable price, why shouldn't they?

Despite the REIT space coming under pressure, some high quality names are on the move. Notably, Realty Income Corp (O) , Digital Realty (DLR) and Ventas, Inc. (VTR) are all on the move higher.

Capital-return specialist Apple Inc. (AAPL) is slightly in the green, as is a dividend favorite of mine, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) . Worth pointing is out that J&J yields over 2.6% and has not only paid, but raised its dividend for 55 consecutive years. Its growth is reasonable and its valuation is attractive.

AAPL is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells AAPL? Learn more now.

But one more name to add to the list? How about Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO) .

The company currently pays a 3.2% dividend yield and just reported a great earnings result last month. After hitting new 52-week highs earlier this month, Cisco has been caught up in the broader market's decline.

That's despite some analysts still looking for a rally, possibly north of $50 per share.

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins
Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins

Cisco isn't abandoning its legacy business of switches and routers, but it is putting a big emphasis on growing its software and security businesses. Not only should this lead to accelerating revenue growth, but these businesses also includes more subscription revenue and better margins.

Analysts expect earnings to grow 8% this year and 10.5% next year. On the sales front, they're looking for 2.4% and 2.8% growth, respectively.

For this, we're paying 16.2 times 2018 earnings estimates and just 14.7 times next year's estimates.

Is Cisco perfect? Of course not. But almost 10% off its highs with a dividend yield in excess of 3% and reasonable growth and valuation profiles make Cisco a name to consider.

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This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author had no positions in the stocks mentioned.

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