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Cisco Launches Highly Anticipated Quarterly Dividend

Wall Street Journal - Mar 18, 2011

Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) finally heeded to years of investor clamoring and approved its first-ever dividend, the latest technology giant to do so as its business matures.

Cisco will pay a quarterly dividend of 6 cents per share. The company will make the payment on April 30 to shareholders of record on March 31.

The dividend payout comes as Cisco faces questions about the strength of its core networking business. Cisco has been combating the notion that it is no longer a growth company, exacerbated by several quarters of disappointing results.

Cisco shares recently rose 1.9% to $17.32. The stock has been down roughly 35% over the past year.

Cisco, like many of its technology peers, has long built up a war chest of cash. As of January 29, the company had $4.9 billion in cash and $35.3 billion in investments. But with the company's stock steadily in decline, shareholders began to more loudly call for a dividend.

"As the role of the network expands across the IT sector, Cisco's leadership position in the markets we serve is strong, and the time is right for Cisco to pay our first-ever cash dividend," Chief Financial Officer Frank Calderoni said.

Read Full Article from Wall Street Journal

- Posted: 2011-03-18 11:12:01

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