At today’s peak value, I walked away from $540,000.00 when I quit Cisco.
Wednesday February 9 5:53 PM ET
Cisco Stock Jumps to New High
By CLIFF EDWARDS AP Technology Writer
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) – Internet equipment maker Cisco Systems Inc (NasdaqNM:CSCO – news). briefly pushed past General Electric Co. on Wednesday to become the world’s second most valuable company, further highlighting the Web’s growing influence on the economy.
Cisco’s stock jumped to an all-time high of $135 a share in morning trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market following late Tuesday’s release of yet another quarterly report that topped Wall Street’s expectations for sales and profits.
The stock pulled back to $128.621/2 by the end of the Nasdaq session, still $3.061/4 higher on the day, giving it a market value of $439.9 billion based on its 3.42 million shares outstanding.
General Electric’s stock, meanwhile, fell $2.433/4 a share to $134.75 on the New York Stock Exchange, finishing with a total market value of $441.2 billion.
Depending on the whims of investors, the two companies may trade spots repeatedly on the valuation list, just as Microsoft Corp (NasdaqNM:MSFT – news). has in taking the No. 1 ranking away from GE. For now, both Cisco and GE are far behind Microsoft, which was worth $563.1 billion at the end of Nasdaq trading despite falling $5 a share to $104.933/4.
It was only late last year that Cisco, the top supplier of gear to move voice, data and video traffic across the Web and other networks, surpassed Intel Corp (Nasdaq NM:INTC – news). as the most valuable company in Silicon Valley.
And while GE remains a major force in a dozen industries and Intel is still the world’s top producer of computer chips, investors are betting that Cisco will be one of the biggest winners in the race to make the Internet an integral part of everyday life.
Notably, the milestone for Cisco came on the same day that its two main competitors switched places on the valuation chart for the first time. Nortel Networks, a leader in fiber-optic technology that speeds the Web, rose 75 cents to $121.75 on the NYSE for a market value of about $167 billion, while arch rival Lucent Technologies sagged $1.433/4 to $52.75, slipping below $166 billion.
The meteoric rise of companies like Cisco and Nortel underscores the explosive growth of the new Web economy, which has created unparalleled wealth and fueled a record U.S. economic expansion by improving worker productivity.
Cisco had $69 million in revenues when it went public in 1990, compared to sales in fiscal 1999 of $12.2 billion. The company expects to see revenue growth this year of 30 percent to 50 percent, chief executive John Chambers said in an interview.
“It comes down to execution and prioritization because there are so many opportunities out there, you still only address about half of the ones you want to,” he said.
The company reported Tuesday that operating income rose to $906 million, or 25 cents a share, in the quarter ended Jan. 29. Those numbers compare with $609 million, or 17 cents a share, in the same period a year ago.
Sales were $4.35 billion, up 53 percent from the year-ago quarter.