Stock Cisco, Top Dividend Challenge Hybrid Computing

Cisco and Microsoft on Wednesday declared a joint product aimed at helping cloud service providers reduce costs while rapidly delivering hybrid cloud services. Hybrid computing allows companies to manage and exchange data stored in-house or in rented public cloud services such as Microsoft’s Azure.

Profit for the latest quarter rose 13% to 53 cents a share on a 7% gain in sales, beating analysts’ estimates. Both also marked the biggest increases in more than two years.

The company enjoys a three-year Earnings Stability Factor of 2 on a scale from 0 (most stable) to 99 (least stable).

Cisco is up about 2% this year and 31% over the past 12 months, beating the S&P 500. The stock is pulling back to its 10-week line for the third time since it cleared a 26.18 flat-base buy point in November. Volume on the retreat has been light, a good sign.

Cisco’s annual dividend yield is 3% at the current share price, well ahead of the S&P average of 1.9%. The company recently hiked its quarterly cash dividend by 2 cents to 21 cents a share. IBD calculates a long-term dividend growth rate of 38%. Cisco’s profit is expected to rise 5% this year to $2.16 a share and increase another 5% in 2016.

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