Buy ‘networking juggernaut’ Cisco now due to market share gains: Analyst

  • Nomura Instinet raises its rating for Cisco shares to buy from neutral, predicting the company will report higher-than-expected earnings in fiscal 2018.
  • "We believe Cisco's webscale switching wins are durable and its window for a campus switching refresh will extend through 2019," the firm says.
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Cisco shares will rise due to a big upgrade cycle for its products in the network switch market, according to Nomura Instinet.

The firm raised its rating for Cisco shares to buy from neutral, predicting the company will report higher-than-expected earnings in fiscal 2018.

The company's shares are up 2.8 percent Monday following the report.

"We believe Cisco's webscale switching wins are durable and its window for a campus switching refresh will extend through 2019," analyst Jeffrey Kvaal wrote in a note to clients Monday. "Now is the time for networking juggernaut Cisco."

A campus network is a network of local area networks managed by a company or nonprofit institution.

Kvaal raised his price target to $46 from $33 for Cisco shares, representing 16 percent upside to Friday's close.

The analystsaid Cisco increased its market share in the ethernet switch market to 53 percent in the third-quarter 2017 from 49 percent the previous quarter. He predicts the switch upgrade cycle will continue through fiscal 2019.

"Cisco appears well-positioned to gain share from Extreme, Juniper, and Avaya which have generally been weak in campus," he wrote.

Kvaal predicts Cisco will generate earnings per share of $2.58 in fiscal 2018 versus the Wall Street consensus of $2.46.

"Tax reform and the recurring revenue transition are not central to our view, though may cushion a market downturn via buybacks/dividends and rising visibility," he wrote.

Cisco's stock is up 25.5 percent in the past 12 months through Friday compared with the S&P 500's 13.1 percent gain.

The company is slated to report its fiscal second quarter earnings results on Wednesday.

— CNBC's Michael Bloom contributed to this story.