Vmware, Inc. (NYSE:VMW) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Friday.

According to Zacks, “VMware's strong results can be attributed to robust performance of its product offerings like NSX, AirWatch, vSphere, and vSAN. During the last reported quarter, VMware unveiled major updates across its VMware vRealize Cloud Management Platform. We believe that expanding product portfolio, partnerships with the likes of Intel, Samsung, Fujitsu, Pivotal, Alphabet, and Microsoft along with continuing enterprise deal wins will drive results in the rest of fiscal 2018. Moreover, aggressive share repurchase will support bottom-line. The company has outperformed the industry on a year-to-date basis.”

Several other brokerages have also weighed in on VMW. Barclays PLC upgraded shares of Vmware from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and upped their target price for the stock from $109.00 to $130.00 in a research report on Thursday, September 14th. Bank of America Corporation restated a “buy” rating and set a $125.00 target price (up from $120.00) on shares of Vmware in a research report on Thursday, September 14th. KeyCorp restated a “sector weight” rating on shares of Vmware in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Robert W. Baird restated a “buy” rating and set a $125.00 target price on shares of Vmware in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group began coverage on shares of Vmware in a research report on Tuesday, September 5th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $130.00 target price on the stock. Fourteen analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $112.00.

Vmware (VMW) traded up 0.0689% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $109.1452. The stock had a trading volume of 614,989 shares. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $101.27 and a 200 day moving average of $94.04. The stock has a market cap of $44.63 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 39.2891 and a beta of 0.74. Vmware has a 12 month low of $72.05 and a 12 month high of $111.61.

Vmware (NYSE:VMW) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 24th. The virtualization software provider reported $1.19 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.15 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $1.90 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.89 billion. Vmware had a net margin of 17.81% and a return on equity of 18.06%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.97 earnings per share. Analysts expect that Vmware will post $5.07 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Vmware declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback program on Monday, August 14th that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the virtualization software provider to purchase up to 2.5% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

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In other Vmware news, CFO Zane Rowe sold 6,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $107.82, for a total transaction of $646,920.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, COO Rajiv Ramaswami sold 20,457 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $87.84, for a total transaction of $1,796,942.88. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 313,721 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $27,557,252.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 41,342 shares of company stock valued at $4,045,490. 0.52% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in VMW. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in Vmware during the 1st quarter worth $141,000. Penserra Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in Vmware by 13.0% during the 2nd quarter. Penserra Capital Management LLC now owns 2,080 shares of the virtualization software provider’s stock worth $181,000 after acquiring an additional 240 shares in the last quarter. BlueMountain Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in Vmware during the 2nd quarter worth $191,000. Eagle Global Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Vmware during the 2nd quarter worth $203,000. Finally, BB&T Securities LLC acquired a new position in Vmware during the 1st quarter worth $209,000. 21.82% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Vmware

VMware, Inc is an information technology (IT) company. The Company is engaged in development and application of virtualization technologies with x86 server-based computing, separating application software from the underlying hardware. The Company offers various products, which allow organizations to manage IT resources across private clouds and multi-cloud, multi-device environments by leveraging synergies across three product categories: Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC), Hybrid Cloud Computing and End-User Computing (EUC).

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