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NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP) was upgraded by Needham & Company LLC from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Thursday, TheFlyOnTheWall.com reports. The firm currently has a $49.00 price objective on the stock. Needham & Company LLC’s price target suggests a potential upside of 24.68% from the stock’s previous close.

In other NetApp news, Director Daniel J. Warmenhoven sold 20,000 shares of the stock on the open market in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $38.44, for a total transaction of $768,800.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link.

NTAP has been the subject of a number of other recent research reports. Analysts at RBC Capital raised their price target on shares of NetApp from $38.00 to $41.00 in a research note on Friday, August 8th. They now have a “sector perform” rating on the stock. Separately, analysts at Evercore Partners raised their price target on shares of NetApp from $4.00 to $43.00 in a research note on Friday, August 8th. They now have an “equal weight” rating on the stock. Finally, analysts at Pacific Crest raised their price target on shares of NetApp from $41.00 to $46.00 in a research note on Thursday, August 7th. They now have an “outperform” rating on the stock. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-one have given a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $41.15.

Shares of NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP) traded up 5.22% during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $41.35. The stock had a trading volume of 11,062,671 shares. NetApp has a 52 week low of $33.34 and a 52 week high of $45.96. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $37.6 and a 200-day moving average of $37.56. The company has a market cap of $13.377 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.48. NetApp also was the target of a large increase in short interest in the month of July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 7,973,104 shares, an increase of 36.1% from the July 15th total of 5,858,719 shares. Approximately 2.5% of the shares of the company are short sold. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 3,428,833 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 2.3 days.

NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 13th. The company reported $0.60 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.57 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $1.49 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.47 billion. On average, analysts predict that NetApp will post $2.96 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which is scheduled for Wednesday, October 22nd. Investors of record on Friday, October 10th will be paid a dividend of $0.165 per share. This represents a $0.66 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.68%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, October 8th.

NetApp, Inc (NASDAQ:NTAP) is a provider of storage systems and data management solutions for information technology (IT) infrastructures.

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