NetApp (NTAP) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday. The brokerage presently has a $65.00 target price on the data storage provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective points to a potential upside of 12.59% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “NetApp is a provider of enterprise storage and data management software and hardware products and services. The company’s expertise in the flash array market is increasing its prominence in the storage area network (SAN) and converged infrastructure markets. Shares of the company have outperformed the industry in the past one year. The company’s newly launched hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) is also expected to be a positive for the top-line growth in the long run. We believe NetApp is well positioned to enjoy steady growth driven by its diversified portfolio and strong distribution channels. These will drive demand for the company's products going forward. However, the company has been experiencing declining OEM revenues since two straight fiscals. Moreover, intensifying competition from bellwethers such as HP Inc., Dell, IBM and Oracle is a major headwind.”

A number of other research firms have also commented on NTAP. ValuEngine raised NetApp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 16th. DA Davidson lowered NetApp from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and boosted their price objective for the stock from $56.00 to $64.00 in a research note on Tuesday, January 23rd. BMO Capital Markets raised NetApp from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and boosted their price objective for the stock from $43.00 to $62.00 in a research note on Thursday, November 16th. Loop Capital upgraded NetApp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 target price for the company in a research report on Tuesday. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co restated a “market perform” rating and set a $50.00 target price on shares of NetApp in a research report on Tuesday, November 14th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have issued a hold rating and sixteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. NetApp presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $53.85.

NetApp (NTAP) traded up $1.56 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $57.73. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 4,354,300 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,747,050. The company has a current ratio of 1.67, a quick ratio of 1.64 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.55. The firm has a market capitalization of $14,985.70, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.78, a P/E/G ratio of 1.79 and a beta of 1.32. NetApp has a one year low of $37.43 and a one year high of $64.06.

NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 15th. The data storage provider reported $0.81 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.69 by $0.12. The company had revenue of $1.42 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.38 billion. NetApp had a return on equity of 26.77% and a net margin of 11.49%. The business’s revenue was up 6.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.60 earnings per share. equities analysts forecast that NetApp will post 2.76 EPS for the current year.

In other news, VP Joel D. Reich sold 3,371 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.17, for a total transaction of $179,236.07. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Henri P. Richard sold 1,976 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.91, for a total value of $110,478.16. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 11,884 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $664,434.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 176,629 shares of company stock valued at $9,568,956 over the last ninety days. 0.47% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. boosted its position in NetApp by 2.1% during the second quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 10,933 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $440,000 after purchasing an additional 228 shares during the last quarter. IFP Advisors Inc lifted its position in shares of NetApp by 45.3% in the fourth quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 2,571 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $142,000 after buying an additional 801 shares during the last quarter. Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC lifted its position in shares of NetApp by 11.5% in the fourth quarter. Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC now owns 9,358 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $518,000 after buying an additional 962 shares during the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC lifted its position in shares of NetApp by 0.4% in the fourth quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 264,699 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $14,643,000 after buying an additional 981 shares during the last quarter. Finally, DnB Asset Management AS lifted its position in shares of NetApp by 3.3% in the fourth quarter. DnB Asset Management AS now owns 31,397 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $1,737,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares during the last quarter. 96.67% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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.

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