Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) and Polycom (NASDAQ:PLCM) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, valuation, earnings, risk, dividends, institutional ownership and profitability.


Cisco Systems pays an annual dividend of $1.16 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.4%. Polycom does not pay a dividend. Cisco Systems pays out 60.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

75.3% of Cisco Systems shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 92.4% of Polycom shares are held by institutional investors. 0.1% of Cisco Systems shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.7% of Polycom shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for Cisco Systems and Polycom, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Cisco Systems 0 12 19 0 2.61
Polycom 0 0 0 0 N/A

Cisco Systems presently has a consensus price target of $35.28, suggesting a potential upside of 4.53%. Given Cisco Systems’ higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Cisco Systems is more favorable than Polycom.

Volatility and Risk

Cisco Systems has a beta of 1.21, meaning that its stock price is 21% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Polycom has a beta of 1.41, meaning that its stock price is 41% more volatile than the S&P 500.


This table compares Cisco Systems and Polycom’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Cisco Systems 20.02% 16.91% 8.61%
Polycom -3.47% -3.73% -2.23%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Cisco Systems and Polycom’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Cisco Systems $48.01 billion 3.48 $14.72 billion $1.91 17.67
Polycom N/A N/A N/A $0.16 77.94

Cisco Systems has higher revenue and earnings than Polycom. Cisco Systems is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Polycom, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.


Cisco Systems beats Polycom on 8 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems, Inc. designs and sells a range of products, provides services and delivers integrated solutions to develop and connect networks around the world. The Company operates through three geographic segments: Americas; Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Asia Pacific, Japan and China (APJC). The Company groups its products and technologies into various categories, such as Switching; Next-Generation Network (NGN) Routing; Collaboration; Data Center; Wireless; Service Provider Video; Security, and Other Products. In addition to its product offerings, the Company provides a range of service offerings, including technical support services and advanced services. The Company delivers its technology and services to its customers as solutions for their priorities, including cloud, video, mobility, security, collaboration and analytics. The Company serves customers, including businesses of all sizes, public institutions, governments and service providers.

About Polycom

Polycom, Inc. (Polycom) offers solutions for voice, video and content sharing and a line of support and service solutions. The Company operates in Americas; Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Asia Pacific (APAC) geographic segments. The Company’s video, voice and content-management and content-sharing solutions include applications for mobile devices, browser-based video collaboration, cloud-delivered services, conference room systems and home/work office solutions and immersive telepresence. It offers various products and solutions, which include UC Group Systems, UC Platform and UC Personal Devices. UC Group Systems includes group video, group voice and immersive telepresence systems. UC Platform includes universal collaboration servers, virtualization management, resource management, recording and streaming, and remote access technologies that constitute the RealPresence Platform. UC Personal Devices includes group video, group voice and immersive telepresence systems.

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