Cisco Systems Remains Top-Performing Dow Stock in 2018

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Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) held on to its ranking as the best-performing Dow Jones industrial average stock of the year to date with a modest 1.4% share price gain last week. Since the beginning of the year, Cisco’s stock is up 16.7%.

The second-best performer among the Dow 30 so far this year is Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA), which is up 15.6%. That is followed by Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC), up about 14.2%, Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT), up 12.0%, and Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE), up 11.2%. Of the 30 stocks comprising the index, just 12 have posted year-to-date gains as of Friday’s close.

The Dow dropped 151.75 points over the course of the past week to close at 24,311.19, down 0.6% for the week. The tech sector as a whole is up nearly 25% over the past 12 months, well ahead financials (up nearly 16%) and consumer discretionary (15.7%) among the S&P’s 11 sectors.

The past week was another quiet one for Cisco. No new 52-week low, nor a new 52-week a high. The stock continued to ride the wave that has carried the tech sector to its top ranking among equity sectors.

Cisco closes its third fiscal quarter at the end of this month 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.

When the company reported second-quarter results in February, adjusted EPS rose 11% and revenues rose 3%. On a GAAP basis, Cisco posted a loss per share of $1.78 due to an $11.1 billion provision for income taxes. The company’s effective tax rate in the second quarter was 20%, and it expects a 21% rate in the third quarter.

Cisco’s shares closed up about 1.1% Friday, at $44.71 in a 52-week range of $30.36 to $46.16. The consensus 12-month price target on the stock is $49.62, up about $0.75 from the previous week, and the forward price-to-earnings ratio is 15.63.

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