VMware (NYSE:VMW) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday. The firm currently has a $183.00 price target on the virtualization software provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective suggests a potential upside of 14.27% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “VMware reported impressive third-quarter fiscal 2019 results. Both earnings and revenues increased on a year-over-year basis. Strong top-line growth was primarily driven by robust performance from NSX and vSAN product line. Management raised fiscal 2019 guidance. VMware has been consistently taking initiatives to diversify its product portfolio to include most of the IT infrastructure. The company’s dominance in software-defined data center (SDDC) along with expanding customer base in cloud driven by partnerships with the likes of IBM and AWS is positive. Moreover, continuing enterprise deal wins will drive growth in the long haul. Shares have outperformed the industry on a year-to-date basis. Nevertheless, VMware’s margins are expected to be dragged down due to heavy spending. Intensifying competition is also a concern.”

VMW has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Oppenheimer increased their price target on VMware from $165.00 to $170.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, August 13th. Maxim Group reissued a “hold” rating and set a $155.00 price target (up previously from $150.00) on shares of VMware in a research report on Friday, November 30th. Royal Bank of Canada increased their price target on VMware to $180.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, August 24th. Nomura set a $128.00 price target on VMware and gave the stock a “reduce” rating in a research report on Friday, November 30th. Finally, Barclays reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $175.00 target price on shares of VMware in a report on Sunday, August 26th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and seventeen have assigned a buy rating to the company. VMware presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $170.10.

Shares of NYSE VMW traded up $1.63 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $160.15. 56,740 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,576,967. The firm has a market cap of $64.79 billion, a P/E ratio of 41.54, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.36 and a beta of 0.77. The company has a current ratio of 3.01, a quick ratio of 3.01 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41. VMware has a 52 week low of $108.46 and a 52 week high of $168.89.

VMware (NYSE:VMW) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, November 29th. The virtualization software provider reported $1.56 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.42. The company had revenue of $2.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.17 billion. VMware had a return on equity of 20.49% and a net margin of 17.03%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 13.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.34 earnings per share. Analysts forecast that VMware will post 4.77 EPS for the current year.

In related news, VP Amy Fliegelman Olli sold 1,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $152.77, for a total transaction of $229,155.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 30,930 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,725,176.10. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CEO Patrick P. Gelsinger sold 25,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $150.00, for a total value of $3,750,000.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 407,743 shares in the company, valued at approximately $61,161,450. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 53,608 shares of company stock worth $8,048,914. 29.90% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in VMW. Cornerstone Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in VMware during the 2nd quarter worth $570,000. Alps Advisors Inc. bought a new position in VMware during the 2nd quarter worth $564,000. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. raised its position in VMware by 4.8% during the 2nd quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 238,286 shares of the virtualization software provider’s stock worth $35,021,000 after purchasing an additional 10,978 shares during the last quarter. Comerica Bank raised its position in VMware by 1.5% during the 2nd quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 46,133 shares of the virtualization software provider’s stock worth $7,156,000 after purchasing an additional 672 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Cognios Capital LLC raised its position in VMware by 20.4% during the 2nd quarter. Cognios Capital LLC now owns 7,694 shares of the virtualization software provider’s stock worth $1,130,000 after purchasing an additional 1,303 shares during the last quarter. 18.57% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

VMware Company Profile

VMware, Inc provides compute, cloud, mobility, networking, and security infrastructure software to businesses in the United States and internationally. The company offers compute products, including VMware vSphere, a data center platform, which enables users to deploy hypervisor, a layer of software that resides between the operating system and system hardware to enable compute virtualization; storage and availability products that provide data storage and protection options; network and security products; and cloud management and automation products to manage and automate overarching IT processes involved in provisioning IT services and resources to users from initial infrastructure deployment to retirement.

Read More: What are earnings reports?

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on VMware (VMW)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for VMware (NYSE:VMW)

Receive News & Ratings for VMware Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for VMware and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.