VMware Inc. (NYSE:VMW) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “VMware provides virtualization solutions from the desktop to the data center. Their solutions enable organizations to aggregate multiple servers, storage infrastructure and networks together into shared pools of capacity that can be allocated dynamically, securely and reliably to applications as needed, increasing hardware utilization and reducing spending. They have expanded their offering with virtual infrastructure automation and management products to address distributed and heterogeneous infrastructure challenges such as system recoverability and reliability, backup and recovery, resource provisioning and management, capacity and performance management and desktop security. They derive a significant majority of their revenues from their indirect sales channel that include distributors, resellers, x86 system vendors and systems integrators. “

Other research analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $84.00 target price (up previously from $83.00) on shares of VMware in a research note on Tuesday, July 19th. Vetr raised shares of VMware from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $63.40 target price for the company in a research note on Monday, June 20th. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of VMware in a research note on Friday, September 9th. RBC Capital Markets reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $88.00 target price on shares of VMware in a research note on Monday, September 12th. Finally, Summit Redstone reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $60.00 target price on shares of VMware in a research note on Monday, July 11th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-eight have issued a hold rating, fourteen have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. VMware presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $77.49.

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Shares of VMware (NYSE:VMW) opened at 73.05 on Wednesday. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $72.60 and a 200 day moving average of $61.72. The company has a market cap of $31.00 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.43 and a beta of 1.30. VMware has a 12-month low of $43.25 and a 12-month high of $82.35.

VMware (NYSE:VMW) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Monday, July 18th. The virtualization software provider reported $0.97 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.95 by $0.02. VMware had a net margin of 15.47% and a return on equity of 15.66%. The firm earned $1.69 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.68 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.93 earnings per share. VMware’s quarterly revenue was up 11.3% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts predict that VMware will post $4.29 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, insider P. Kevan Krysler sold 6,988 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, July 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.40, for a total transaction of $505,931.20. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 78,654 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,694,549.60. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP S. Dawn Smith sold 977 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $73.59, for a total value of $71,897.43. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 54,653 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,021,914.27. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.52% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Dodge & Cox raised its position in VMware by 227.2% in the first quarter. Dodge & Cox now owns 9,164,491 shares of the virtualization software provider’s stock valued at $479,395,000 after buying an additional 6,363,556 shares during the period. Paulson & CO. Inc. bought a new position in VMware during the second quarter valued at approximately $112,844,000. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its position in VMware by 76.3% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 2,285,300 shares of the virtualization software provider’s stock valued at $119,544,000 after buying an additional 989,100 shares during the period. Point72 Asset Management L.P. bought a new position in VMware during the second quarter valued at approximately $51,017,000. Finally, Norges Bank bought a new position in VMware during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $44,115,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 22.06% of the company’s stock.

About VMware

VMware, Inc is a provider of virtualization infrastructure solutions and cloud infrastructure solutions. The Company develops and markets its product and service offerings within three product groups, which include software-defined data center (SDDC), hybrid cloud computing and end-user computing (EUC).

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