NetApp (NTAP) Lifted to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research
NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday. The brokerage presently has a $64.00 target price on the data storage provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would indicate a potential upside of 11.05% from the stock’s current price.
According to Zacks, “NetApp shares have outperformed the industry in the past one year. The company’s expertise in the flash array market is increasing its prominence in the storage area network (SAN) and converged infrastructure markets. The company’s newly launched hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) is also expected to be a positive for the top-line growth in the long run. We believe NetApp is well positioned to enjoy steady growth driven by its diversified portfolio and strong distribution channels. These will drive demand for the company's products going forward. However, the company has been experiencing declining OEM revenues since two straight fiscals. Moreover, intensifying competition from bellwethers such as HP Inc., Dell, IBM and Oracle is a major headwind.”
NTAP has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Maxim Group boosted their price target on shares of NetApp from $56.00 to $61.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 16th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $52.00 price objective on shares of NetApp and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 14th. Barclays raised shares of NetApp from an “underweight” rating to an “overweight” rating and lifted their price objective for the stock from $38.00 to $52.00 in a report on Thursday, November 9th. Royal Bank of Canada lifted their price objective on shares of NetApp from $45.00 to $50.00 and gave the stock a “sector perform” rating in a report on Monday, November 13th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and set a $50.00 price objective on shares of NetApp in a report on Tuesday, November 14th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-one have given a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $52.81.
NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 15th. The data storage provider reported $0.81 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.12. The business had revenue of $1.42 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.38 billion. NetApp had a net margin of 11.49% and a return on equity of 26.77%. NetApp’s quarterly revenue was up 6.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.60 EPS. equities research analysts forecast that NetApp will post 2.76 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In related news, CEO George Kurian sold 7,020 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.48, for a total value of $417,549.60. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Henri P. Richard sold 1,976 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.91, for a total value of $110,478.16. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 11,884 shares in the company, valued at $664,434.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 176,629 shares of company stock worth $9,568,956 over the last 90 days. 0.47% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Boston Partners raised its stake in NetApp by 68.1% in the 4th quarter. Boston Partners now owns 12,127,140 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $670,873,000 after acquiring an additional 4,914,409 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its stake in NetApp by 25.2% in the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 4,061,906 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $177,748,000 after acquiring an additional 817,147 shares during the period. APG Asset Management N.V. raised its stake in NetApp by 22.9% in the 3rd quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 3,046,414 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $133,311,000 after acquiring an additional 567,300 shares during the period. Allianz Asset Management GmbH raised its stake in NetApp by 12.7% in the 3rd quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH now owns 2,812,288 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $123,066,000 after acquiring an additional 317,489 shares during the period. Finally, Sirios Capital Management L P raised its stake in NetApp by 3.3% in the 3rd quarter. Sirios Capital Management L P now owns 2,340,642 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $102,426,000 after acquiring an additional 74,898 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 94.96% of the company’s stock.
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NetApp Company Profile
NetApp, Inc (NetApp) provides software, systems and services to manage and store customer data. The Company enables enterprises, service providers, governmental organizations, and partners to envision, deploy and evolve their information technology (IT) environments. The Company offers a portfolio of products and services that satisfy a range of customer workloads across different data types and deployment models.
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