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Is Cisco Systems Inc (NASDAQ:CSCO) An Attractive Dividend Stock?

Pam Parks

Dividends play an important role in compounding returns in the long run and end up forming a sizeable part of investment returns. Historically, Cisco Systems Inc (NASDAQ:CSCO) has paid a dividend to shareholders. It currently yields 2.8%. Let’s dig deeper into whether Cisco Systems should have a place in your portfolio.

See our latest analysis for Cisco Systems

5 questions to ask before buying a dividend stock

If you are a dividend investor, you should always assess these five key metrics:

  • Is its annual yield among the top 25% of dividend-paying companies?
  • Does it consistently pay out dividends without missing a payment of significantly cutting payout?
  • Has dividend per share risen in the past couple of years?
  • Does earnings amply cover its dividend payments?
  • Will it have the ability to keep paying its dividends going forward?
NasdaqGS:CSCO Historical Dividend Yield September 21st 18

How does Cisco Systems fare?

The company currently pays out more than double of its earnings as a dividend, according to its trailing trailing twelve-month data, meaning that the dividend is predominantly funded by retained earnings. In the near future, analysts are predicting a more sensible payout ratio of 46.1%, leading to a dividend yield of 3.1%. Furthermore, EPS should increase to $2.72, meaning that the lower payout ratio does not necessarily implicate a lower dividend payment.

When assessing the forecast sustainability of a dividend it is also worth considering the cash flow of the business. Cash flow is important because companies with strong cash flow can usually sustain higher payout ratios.

If dividend is a key criteria in your investment consideration, then you need to make sure the dividend stock you’re eyeing out is reliable in its payments. The reality is that it is too early to consider Cisco Systems as a dividend investment. It has only been consistently paying dividends for 8 years, however, standard practice for reliable payers is to look for a 10-year minimum track record.

Relative to peers, Cisco Systems generates a yield of 2.8%, which is high for Communications stocks but still below the market’s top dividend payers.

Next Steps:

Now you know to keep in mind the reason why investors should be careful investing in Cisco Systems for the dividend. On the other hand, if you are not strictly just a dividend investor, the stock could still be offering some interesting investment opportunities. Given that this is purely a dividend analysis, I urge potential investors to try and get a good understanding of the underlying business and its fundamentals before deciding on an investment. I’ve put together three key factors you should look at:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for CSCO’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for CSCO’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is CSCO worth today? Even if the stock is a cash cow, it’s not worth an infinite price. The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether CSCO is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Dividend Rockstars: Are there better dividend payers with stronger fundamentals out there? Check out our free list of these great stocks here.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.