Cisco shares are a flop for Flip’s owners

Contact: Brenon Daly

Since the purchase of Flip, Cisco Systems shares have been a flop. That’s actually an important consideration for the former owners of digital camera maker Pure Digital Technologies, which Cisco shuttered on Tuesday. Recall that when the networking giant (somewhat inexplicably) reached for Pure Digital two years ago, it covered the $590m purchase with its own equity. It was the first time Cisco had used its own equity as currency in four years, according to our records.

For the first year or so after the deal closed on May 21, 2009, Cisco basically tracked the S&P 500 Index. However, over the past half-year, Cisco stock has slumped as it has failed to execute, as the company indicated in a recently leaked memo from CEO John Chambers. Those acknowledged missteps have left Flip’s backers (at least the ones who haven’t sold) underwater on their holdings. Since the deal closed, Cisco stock has dropped 10% while the S&P 500 has tacked on 50%.