Vmware, Inc. (NYSE:VMW) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Monday.

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. Further, the company's latest partnership with SAP will help it benefit in the Internet of Things (IoT) market. Moreover, aggressive share repurchase will support bottom-line. The company has outperformed the industry on a year-to-date basis. However, sluggish IT spending as well as intensifying competition from Microsoft and Citrix Systems are the major concerns.”

Other research analysts have also issued reports about the company. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. increased their target price on Vmware from $110.00 to $120.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 5th. Stifel Nicolaus raised Vmware from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $96.00 to $109.00 in a research report on Wednesday, June 21st. Cowen and Company reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and issued a $104.00 target price (up from $98.00) on shares of Vmware in a research report on Monday, August 14th. Barclays PLC raised Vmware from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $109.00 to $130.00 in a research report on Thursday, September 14th. Finally, Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $125.00 target price on shares of Vmware in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. Fourteen research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $112.28.

Vmware (NYSE VMW) traded up 0.761% during midday trading on Monday, reaching $114.485. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 295,726 shares. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $109.29 and a 200 day moving average price of $96.59. The firm has a market cap of $46.82 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 41.211 and a beta of 0.72. Vmware has a 1-year low of $72.48 and a 1-year high of $114.95.

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

Vmware declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Monday, August 14th that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the virtualization software provider to buy up to 2.5% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

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In other Vmware news, COO Sanjay Poonen sold 1,134 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $106.51, for a total value of $120,782.34. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 192,774 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $20,532,358.74. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Zane Rowe sold 6,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $107.82, for a total transaction of $646,920.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 20,885 shares of company stock worth $2,248,548 in the last three months. 0.52% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. bought a new position in Vmware in the first quarter worth about $141,000. Penserra Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in Vmware by 13.0% in the second 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 during the last quarter. BlueMountain Capital Management LLC bought a new position in Vmware in the second quarter worth about $191,000. Eagle Global Advisors LLC bought a new position in Vmware in the second quarter worth about $203,000. Finally, Sapphire Star Partners LP bought a new position in Vmware in the second quarter worth about $210,000. 21.80% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other 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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