NetScout Systems (NASDAQ:NTCT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “NetScout Systems, Inc. is a leading provider of business assurance – a powerful combination of service assurance, cybersecurity, and business intelligence solutions – for today’s most demanding service provider, enterprise and government networks. NETSCOUT’s Adaptive Service Intelligence (ASI) technology continuously monitors the service delivery environment to identify performance issues and provides insight into network-based security threats, helping teams to quickly resolve issues that can cause business disruptions or impact user experience. NETSCOUT delivers unmatched service visibility and protects the digital infrastructure that supports our connected world. “

A number of other equities analysts also recently issued reports on the company. Craig Hallum cut their price target on NetScout Systems from $30.00 to $28.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, October 26th. B. Riley reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $36.00 price target on shares of NetScout Systems in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Piper Jaffray Companies initiated coverage on NetScout Systems in a research note on Monday, November 13th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $34.00 price target for the company. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $33.00 price target on shares of NetScout Systems in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded NetScout Systems from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 27th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $29.67.

Shares of NetScout Systems (NASDAQ NTCT) traded up $1.60 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $27.55. The company had a trading volume of 3,564,900 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,007,978. NetScout Systems has a twelve month low of $25.75 and a twelve month high of $38.47. The company has a market cap of $2,400.73, a price-to-earnings ratio of 162.07, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.86 and a beta of 1.60. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.14, a current ratio of 1.60 and a quick ratio of 1.51.

NetScout Systems (NASDAQ:NTCT) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The technology company reported $0.29 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.26 by $0.03. NetScout Systems had a return on equity of 5.15% and a net margin of 1.52%. The business had revenue of $256.90 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $251.13 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.39 EPS. The firm’s revenue was down 5.6% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts predict that NetScout Systems will post 1.48 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

NetScout Systems declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase program on Thursday, October 26th that allows the company to repurchase 25,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the technology company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are generally a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, EVP John Downing sold 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.17, for a total value of $84,510.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 88,821 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,502,087.57. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, insider Michael Szabados sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.19, for a total value of $140,950.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 43,424 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,224,122.56. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 3.51% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. AXA lifted its stake in NetScout Systems by 14.0% in the third quarter. AXA now owns 281,300 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $9,100,000 after purchasing an additional 34,500 shares during the last quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC lifted its stake in NetScout Systems by 17.3% in the third quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC now owns 19,924 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $645,000 after purchasing an additional 2,939 shares during the last quarter. Turtle Creek Asset Management Inc. lifted its stake in NetScout Systems by 59.7% in the third quarter. Turtle Creek Asset Management Inc. now owns 3,073,380 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $99,424,000 after purchasing an additional 1,148,671 shares during the last quarter. Royce & Associates LP lifted its stake in NetScout Systems by 25.3% in the third quarter. Royce & Associates LP now owns 257,700 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $8,337,000 after purchasing an additional 52,100 shares during the last quarter. Finally, B. Riley Financial Inc. lifted its stake in NetScout Systems by 118.2% in the third quarter. B. Riley Financial Inc. now owns 38,196 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $1,244,000 after purchasing an additional 20,693 shares during the last quarter.

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About NetScout Systems

NetScout Systems, Inc (NetScout) provides operational intelligence and performance analytics for service assurance and cyber security solutions. The Company’s solutions are used in various service provider, enterprise and government networks. Its nGenius and Infinistream technologies, along with certain product lines from the acquired businesses, enable information technology (IT) organizations to manage service delivery quality, and identify and address business service performance issues and security threats.

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