Contain Excitement Over Cisco/Nokia Rumors

Nokia (NOK) shares are up this morning as rumors are swirling that Cisco Systems (CSCO) might target them as an acquisition target in the wireless space. Before investors get too excited about the possible combination, let’s recall Cisco’s acquisition strategy.

The company does a lot of deals, but very small ones in most cases. The idea that Cisco would be interested in a mega-deal seems farfetched to me, and probably mentioned mostly for headlines. Cisco has a done a few medium size deals (The 1996 purchase of Stratacom for about $4 billion comes to mind), but CEO John Chambers paying $73 billion for Nokia would be surprising, given that Cisco is only worth $124 billion, hardly a small deal to swallow.