(Bloomberg) -- Cisco Systems Inc.’s quest for acquisitions while grappling with its worst stretch of sales growth is making takeover candidates out of Citrix Systems Inc., NetApp Inc. and Rackspace Hosting Inc.

Cisco, with its stock price down 42 percent since November 2007, has gone too long without a “major” acquisition and failed to invest enough in companies it purchased, Chief Executive Officer John Chambers said Dec. 7. Four months earlier, he bought NDS Group Ltd. for about $5 billion, Cisco’s third-largest deal, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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