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How Cisco Systems Spent $50 Billion in 12 Months

By John Maxfield – Dec 4, 2015 at 5:07PM

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A slideshow shows how the hardware giant disposes of its revenue.

The unrelenting pace of technological progress has been good to Cisco Systems (CSCO -0.20%). Over the last 12 months, it earned $50 billion in revenue, ranking 53rd among S&P 500 companies. What does the 31-year-old company do with all this money? The slideshow below provides an answer.

Viewers of the slideshow will learn two interesting points, among other things, from scrolling through it:

  • First, Cisco Systems allocates its earnings roughly evenly (compared to other large publicly traded companies) between dividends, buybacks, and retained earnings.
  • Second, the hardware manufacturer's profit margins are meaningfully wider than the typical large cap stock. As a chart near the end of the slideshow reveals, this has allowed Cisco's stock to very dramatically outperform the S&P 500 over the past quarter century.

What else can investors learn about Cisco Systems from an analysis of its revenue flows? Scroll through the brief slideshow below to find out.

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All slideshow data sourced from YCharts.com on Dec. 2, 2015. Slideshow image credits: istock/Thinkstock.

John Maxfield has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Cisco Systems. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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