Cisco Still Holds Rank as Top Performing Dow Stock

Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) held on to its ranking as the best-performing Dow Jones industrial stock of the year to date with a 1.3% share price gain last week. For the year to date, Cisco’s stock is up 18.28%

The second-best performer among the Dow 30 so far this year is Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC), which is up about 14.3%. That is followed by Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA), up 13.4%, Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE), up 12.4%, and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT), up 11.3%. Of the 30 stocks comprising the Dow Jones industrial average index, only 11 have posted year-to-date gains as of Friday’s close.

The Dow dropped less than 50 points over the course of the last week to close at 24,262.51, down 0.2% for the week. For the year to date, the tech sector has added 7.3%%, the best among the 10 market sectors.

Cisco closes its third fiscal quarter at the end of April and is scheduled to report results on May 16. Analysts are looking for earnings per share (EPS) of $0.65 and revenues of $12.43 billion. That would be a 12% year-over-year boost to EPS and more than 4% to revenues.

Last Tuesday, Cisco sold its Service Provider Video Software Solutions business to private equity firm Permira for a reported $1 billion. Six years ago, Cisco paid $5 billion to Permira to acquire the U.K.-based business. Cisco said it will retain the video and media technology related to its core businesses of networking, multicloud, security, data and collaboration.

Late Wednesday Cisco revealed that it had sold 605,000 VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW) shares during the first quarter of 2018. Forbes calculated the value of the sale at around $73 million based on VMware’s closing price of $121.27 at the end of March. Cisco still owns about 1.93 million VMware shares. What the sale tells us about the much-discussed potential acquisition of VMware by Dell is probably not much.

Cisco’s shares closed up about 1.9% Friday, at $45.30 in a 52-week trading range of $30.36 to $46.16. The consensus 12-month price target on the stock is $49.62, unchanged from the previous week, and the forward price-to-earnings ratio is 15.84.

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