NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP) was the target of unusually large options trading on Wednesday. Stock investors purchased 13,364 call options on the stock. This is an increase of approximately 735% compared to the average daily volume of 1,600 call options.

A number of analysts have recently weighed in on the company. Barclays PLC reissued a “sell” rating and set a $35.00 price objective (down previously from $38.00) on shares of NetApp in a research note on Thursday. Robert W. Baird reissued a “hold” rating and set a $44.00 price objective (down previously from $47.00) on shares of NetApp in a research note on Thursday. Drexel Hamilton reissued a “buy” rating and set a $52.00 price objective on shares of NetApp in a research note on Tuesday, February 14th. Jefferies Group LLC dropped their price objective on NetApp from $44.00 to $42.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday. Finally, Maxim Group reissued a “hold” rating and set a $46.00 price objective on shares of NetApp in a research note on Thursday. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have assigned a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $40.80.

In other NetApp news, Director Alan L. Earhart sold 27,422 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.46, for a total value of $1,164,338.12. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 21,611 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $917,603.06. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO George Kurian sold 4,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $41.53, for a total value of $166,120.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 24,396 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,013,165.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 35,422 shares of company stock valued at $1,490,498. 0.49% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Dodge & Cox acquired a new position in shares of NetApp during the fourth quarter valued at about $812,244,000. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of NetApp by 1,529.1% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 20,130,070 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $842,443,000 after buying an additional 18,894,401 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new position in shares of NetApp during the fourth quarter valued at about $116,685,000. Numeric Investors LLC raised its position in shares of NetApp by 600.0% in the fourth quarter. Numeric Investors LLC now owns 2,259,515 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $79,693,000 after buying an additional 1,936,715 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its position in shares of NetApp by 569.8% in the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 2,056,581 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $86,067,000 after buying an additional 1,749,553 shares in the last quarter. 92.52% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP) opened at 40.24 on Friday. NetApp has a one year low of $22.89 and a one year high of $43.14. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $40.09 and its 200 day moving average price is $38.69. The company has a market capitalization of $10.90 billion, a P/E ratio of 36.75 and a beta of 1.50.

NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, May 24th. The data storage provider reported $0.86 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.82 by $0.04. NetApp had a return on equity of 15.66% and a net margin of 5.89%. The company had revenue of $1.48 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.44 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.55 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 7.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts anticipate that NetApp will post $3.04 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, July 26th. Investors of record on Friday, July 7th will be given a dividend of $0.20 per share. This is a positive change from NetApp’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.19. This represents a $0.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.99%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, July 5th. NetApp’s dividend payout ratio is currently 69.09%.

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About NetApp

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.

12 Month Chart for NASDAQ:NTAP

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