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Nader Kindles Fires of Revolt


Mr. Nader isn't calling for a router recall or claiming the company's networks are unsafe at any speed. Instead, he wants the tech company to pay a bigger dividend to boost its shares.

The consumer advocate's motives are far from altruistic. He is a longtime disgruntled Cisco investor who called the company's share performance "appalling." In a private letter to Cisco Chief Executive John Chambers sent June 13, Mr. Nader blasted the CEO for not doing enough to lift shares of the technology company and said "it is time for a long overdue Cisco shareholder revolt against a management that is oblivious to building or even maintaining shareholder value," according to the letter.

In 4 p.m. Nasdaq Stock Market composite trading Thursday, Cisco's shares rose 11 cents, or 0.7%, to $15.47. They are down nearly a third in the past year and are off 75% from their all-time, tech-bubble high. In comparison, the Nasdaq Composite index is down about 48% from its all-time high in March 2000.

Among the specific actions Mr. Nader suggested in the letter are the distribution of a one-time dividend of $1 a share and an increase in Cisco's annual dividend to 50 cents from 24 cents.

"If they can't give shareholders value, then they have to give cash," Mr. Nader said in an interview this week, adding that the company's stock has plummeted even though its profits generally were on the rise until recently.

Cisco, like many big tech companies, has been accumulating cash despite its weak growth. It holds $43 billion in cash, nearly half of its market value.

Comment: Nader has a good point. Give a better dividend

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