Stock Traders Purchase High Volume of Call Options on Cisco Systems (CSCO)

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Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) was the target of unusually large options trading on Wednesday. Stock investors purchased 250,023 call options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 854% compared to the average daily volume of 26,221 call options.

In other Cisco Systems news, CFO Kelly A. Kramer sold 70,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.70, for a total value of $3,619,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 420,696 shares in the company, valued at approximately $21,749,983.20. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, EVP David Goeckeler sold 30,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.07, for a total value of $1,562,100.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 419,439 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $21,840,188.73. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 115,000 shares of company stock valued at $5,926,000 in the last quarter. 0.03% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Point72 Asset Management L.P. bought a new stake in Cisco Systems during the second quarter worth approximately $4,996,000. Sterling Capital Management LLC boosted its position in Cisco Systems by 2.5% during the second quarter. Sterling Capital Management LLC now owns 2,966,864 shares of the network equipment provider’s stock worth $127,664,000 after purchasing an additional 71,202 shares during the period. Paloma Partners Management Co boosted its position in Cisco Systems by 335.5% during the second quarter. Paloma Partners Management Co now owns 481,288 shares of the network equipment provider’s stock worth $20,710,000 after purchasing an additional 370,773 shares during the period. Signaturefd LLC boosted its position in Cisco Systems by 69.2% during the second quarter. Signaturefd LLC now owns 71,167 shares of the network equipment provider’s stock worth $3,062,000 after purchasing an additional 29,107 shares during the period. Finally, Hilltop Holdings Inc. boosted its position in Cisco Systems by 18.1% during the second quarter. Hilltop Holdings Inc. now owns 33,476 shares of the network equipment provider’s stock worth $1,441,000 after purchasing an additional 5,135 shares during the period. 69.13% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of NASDAQ:CSCO opened at $55.14 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.74, a current ratio of 1.80 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39. Cisco Systems has a 12 month low of $40.25 and a 12 month high of $55.80. The stock has a market capitalization of $266.36 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.56, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.88 and a beta of 1.22.

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 13th. The network equipment provider reported $0.73 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.01. Cisco Systems had a net margin of 25.31% and a return on equity of 27.58%. The firm had revenue of $12.45 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $12.43 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.63 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts forecast that Cisco Systems will post 2.74 earnings per share for the current year.

Cisco Systems declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback plan on Wednesday, February 13th that allows the company to repurchase $15.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the network equipment provider to buy up to 6.5% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, April 24th. Investors of record on Friday, April 5th will be issued a $0.35 dividend. This is an increase from Cisco Systems’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.33. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, April 4th. This represents a $1.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.54%. Cisco Systems’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 56.41%.

Several research analysts have commented on the stock. KeyCorp increased their price objective on shares of Cisco Systems from $55.00 to $58.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Monday, March 25th. Bank of America reissued a “buy” rating and set a $56.00 price objective on shares of Cisco Systems in a report on Thursday, February 14th. MKM Partners increased their price objective on shares of Cisco Systems to $54.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, February 14th. Credit Suisse Group increased their price objective on shares of Cisco Systems from $44.00 to $47.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, February 14th. Finally, Morgan Stanley downgraded shares of Cisco Systems from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and dropped their price objective for the company from $51.00 to $49.00 in a report on Tuesday, February 12th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nineteen have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Cisco Systems has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $53.49.

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Cisco Systems Company Profile

Cisco Systems, Inc designs, manufactures, and sells Internet Protocol based networking and other products related to the communications and information technology industry worldwide. The company offers switching products; routing products that interconnect public and private wireline and mobile networks; data center products; and wireless access points for use in voice, video, and data applications.

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