Zacks Investment Research Lowers NetApp (NTAP) to Hold
NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday.
According to Zacks, “NetApp is a provider of enterprise storage and data management software and hardware products and services. The company’s expertise in the flash array market is increasing its prominence in the storage area network (SAN) and converged infrastructure markets. Shares of the company have outperformed the industry in the past one year. 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.”
Several other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports on NTAP. Goldman Sachs Group initiated coverage on shares of NetApp in a research report on Wednesday. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $64.00 price objective for the company. ValuEngine raised shares of NetApp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. DA Davidson downgraded shares of NetApp from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and increased their price target for the stock from $56.00 to $64.00 in a report on Tuesday, January 23rd. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “hold” rating and set a $43.00 price target on shares of NetApp in a report on Wednesday, November 15th. Finally, Robert W. Baird reissued a “hold” rating on shares of NetApp in a report on Thursday, November 16th. One investment 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 stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $52.81.
NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, November 15th. The data storage provider reported $0.81 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.69 by $0.12. NetApp had a net margin of 11.49% and a return on equity of 26.77%. The firm had revenue of $1.42 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.38 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.60 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 6.1% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts anticipate that NetApp will post 2.76 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In other NetApp news, SVP Matthew K. Fawcett sold 29,845 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $46.60, for a total value of $1,390,777.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 31,962 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,489,429.20. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, CEO George Kurian sold 75,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.50, for a total value of $3,937,500.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 199,454 shares of company stock worth $10,542,184 over the last ninety days. 0.47% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. California Public Employees Retirement System grew its holdings in NetApp by 1.1% during the fourth quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 814,965 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $45,084,000 after acquiring an additional 8,629 shares during the period. M&T Bank Corp boosted its position in shares of NetApp by 13.6% in the 4th quarter. M&T Bank Corp now owns 21,393 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $1,183,000 after purchasing an additional 2,563 shares during the period. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. boosted its position in shares of NetApp by 781.2% in the 4th quarter. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. now owns 184,222 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $10,191,000 after purchasing an additional 163,316 shares during the period. New Amsterdam Partners LLC NY acquired a new position in shares of NetApp in the 4th quarter valued at $520,000. Finally, Fort Pitt Capital Group LLC boosted its position in shares of NetApp by 0.8% in the 4th quarter. Fort Pitt Capital Group LLC now owns 515,812 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $28,535,000 after purchasing an additional 4,221 shares during the period. 94.96% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
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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