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The unrelenting pace of technological progress has been good to Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO). 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.


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. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. 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.