Listening to analysts discuss earnings reports and reading news stories recounting facts and figures are certainly important to gaining some understanding of how a corporation operates.

But the explosion of discussion boards on the Internet provides some interesting reading as well. Take, for example, three messages posted at CBS Marketwatch (reprinted as each appeared) concerning John Chambers’ report on Cisco Systems’ latest quarterly figures:

“csco profit margins topped 70%,,they continue to rise,,thats one thing Chambers is doing right. He’s sharping his knives and when the econ recovers in earnest they will be there to cut it up.

“I said this a year ago: CSCO is NO LONGER a growth stock and should not be valued like one. Now, a year later, it’s revenue has shrunk, a full year into the RECOVERY! So what that Chambers has got the costs down in proportion to the gross. That doesn’t deserve a growth stock valuation in my mind. Sell I say, before its too late!”

“I agree CSCO is not a growth stock like it was before,,when you own the market like they do with a 75% share there’s not much growth left to get. I said it before csco is like a GE,it will do what the economy does. But there’ one thing csco has that others don’t,, and thats a ton of cash. I think when the time is right they will use that cash and buy themselves growth,, but the time is not right now.”

Of interest as well were these two from Yahoo!:

“Cisco could announce in a news conference that they were planning to burn down all of their facilities, and the futures would be up the next morning. “This looks like a real bottom to us!” Put your money in a savings account and tell the brokerages to blow it out their (bleep) ….”

“Cisco is making more profit (almost $1 Billion per Quarter) than ever before. It is THEE name in networking. Cisco is doing this in the worst economy ever. When the Good Times return they will dominate the market.’

Interesting reading, eh? We certainly know how they’re thinking.