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This Day In Market History: The Cisco Systems IPO

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Wayne Duggan
·1 min read
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Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that occurred on this date.

What Happened? On this day in 1990, Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) held its IPO.

Where The Market Was: The S&P 500 was at 332.72 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 2,635.59.

What Else Was Going On In The World? In 1990, the U.S. launched Operation Desert Shield in Kuwait and “The Simpsons” aired on FOX for the first time. The average cost of a new car was $16,950.

Dot-Com Darling Is Born: Cisco has been one of the biggest success stories in the history of Silicon Valley, yet its story will forever be tied to the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s. Cisco was founded in 1984 by Leonard Bosack, who had worked to develop the Advanced Gateway Server based on Stanford University’s router.

By the time Cisco went public in 1990, its market cap was $224 million. Over the next decade, Cisco would log an incredible 30,000% gain, becoming the poster child for dot-com mania. By March 2000, Cisco’s market cap had expanded to more than $500 billion, making it the most valuable company in the world. For perspective, a $500-billion market cap is more than twice the size of AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) in today’s dollars.

From March 27, 2000, to March 27, 2001, Cisco lost 77.4% of its market cap when the bubble burst. Today, Cisco’s market cap has bounced back significantly to $200 billion, but it's still less than half of the peak.

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