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Cisco's Got Cash

6:00 PM -- Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) disclosed today that it's selling $4 billion in debt, a move that has people speculating about a big acquisition to come.

Half a billion of the money goes to paying off older debt, but that still leaves a few billion to play with. Cisco has $29 billion in cash and investments, but less than $4 billion is in the United States, as noted by Reuters.

So, it might be just a way to shore up cash in tough times, to appease investors. Or, it could be a way to quickly gather cash for a deal, which is more fun to think about.

Let the speculation begin. It has to be big -- more than a few billion dollars. Probably peripheral to Cisco's main businesses, so, not Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD).

I'm thinking it would be in the consumer space. CEO John Chambers has said out loud that Cisco would consider consumer acquisitions and noted on the last earning call that he's given senior VP Ned Hooper the OK to expand that business. (See Cisco Goes Consumer and Cisco Keeps the Service Provider Faith.)

I have no good guesses. I have bad guesses that I won't say here for fear of starting a dumb unintentional rumor. (Although -- isn't Twitter Inc. worth like $100 gazillion right now, according to Web 2.0 pundits?)

You, though, don't have to care about that. Take your best shot on the message board below.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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jhawk810 12/5/2012 | 4:12:10 PM
re: Cisco's Got Cash How about RIM? or maybe the handset business isn't their MO?

Facebook? Already past its prime?

Entropic and Broadlogic have already had Cisco investment. Maybe they seal the deal with this cash?

j
dljvjbsl 12/5/2012 | 4:12:08 PM
re: Cisco's Got Cash
Nortel??
brahmos 12/5/2012 | 4:12:04 PM
re: Cisco's Got Cash imho Arista, Vmware and Citrix(gets in Xen also) would be worth the buy.
brahmos 12/5/2012 | 4:12:04 PM
re: Cisco's Got Cash another name: salesforce.com
Brightspark 12/5/2012 | 4:12:02 PM
re: Cisco's Got Cash Nortel???

A real posibility if Huawei makes a bid, Cisco will swoop in to better the offer to keep them off their patch!
sigint 12/5/2012 | 4:11:49 PM
re: Cisco's Got Cash Nortel???

A real posibility if Huawei makes a bid, Cisco will swoop in to better the offer to keep them off their patch!
____________________________________________________

Chambers has been pretty emphatic in the past that Cisco wouldn't acquire Nortel as long as he's in charge. But yes, the Huawei angle might persuade him otherwise.
lightminded 12/5/2012 | 4:11:48 PM
re: Cisco's Got Cash bmc or emc...
mk22 12/5/2012 | 4:11:44 PM
re: Cisco's Got Cash
EMC is too expensive w/ a $24B market cap. NetApp has a good virutalization story, $5B market cap, and just laid off 500+ people. Coincidence?

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:11:43 PM
re: Cisco's Got Cash Some nice guesses out there, folks. Thanks for the input.

mk22 -- I'd thought of NetApp too, especially because of those layoffs.

lightminded -- I have to go with mk22 in saying EMC is too expensive, but BMC seems to be on a lot of people's minds out there. That's an early favorite.

Personally, I'm still going with the out-of-left-field consumer-electronics theory. Something as non-router-related as WebEx was (I know, webex isn't consumer, but something *that* tangential). It's a good way to get into the home networking and/or device market, taking advantage of the depressed sales prices around them.
mk22 12/5/2012 | 4:11:42 PM
re: Cisco's Got Cash
Some more food for though on NetApp:

http://blogs.netapp.com/jay/20...

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