NetApp (NTAP) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Hold
NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday.
According to Zacks, “NetApp is a provider of enterprise storage and data management software and hardware products and services. The company reported stellar third quarter earnings and revenues on the back of strong product adoption. The company’s expertise in the flash array market is increasing its prominence in the storage area network (SAN) and converged infrastructure markets. 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. Shares of the company have outperformed the industry in the past one year. However, intensifying competition from bellwethers such as HP Inc., Dell, IBM and Oracle is a major headwind.”
NTAP has been the topic of a number of other reports. Barclays reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and set a $56.00 price objective (up from $52.00) on shares of NetApp in a research report on Thursday, November 16th. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and set a $60.00 price objective on shares of NetApp in a research report on Thursday, November 16th. Morgan Stanley raised shares of NetApp from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $41.00 to $64.00 in a research report on Tuesday, January 23rd. DA Davidson set a $66.00 price objective on shares of NetApp and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday. Finally, Bank of America raised shares of NetApp from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have assigned a hold rating and sixteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. NetApp has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $54.52.
NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 14th. The data storage provider reported $0.99 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.08. NetApp had a net margin of 11.49% and a return on equity of 26.77%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.82 EPS. equities analysts anticipate that NetApp will post 2.84 EPS for the current fiscal year.
In related news, CEO George Kurian sold 75,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.50, for a total transaction of $3,937,500.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director George T. Shaheen sold 36,916 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.10, for a total transaction of $1,960,239.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 176,629 shares of company stock valued at $9,568,956. 0.47% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Boston Partners boosted its holdings in shares of NetApp by 68.1% during the 4th quarter. Boston Partners now owns 12,127,140 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $670,873,000 after buying an additional 4,914,409 shares during the period. Investec Asset Management LTD bought a new stake in shares of NetApp during the 4th quarter worth $290,829,000. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its holdings in shares of NetApp by 6.4% during the 4th quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 4,322,669 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $239,131,000 after buying an additional 260,763 shares during the period. APG Asset Management N.V. boosted its holdings in shares of NetApp by 22.9% during the 3rd quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 3,046,414 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $133,311,000 after buying an additional 567,300 shares during the period. Finally, Allianz Asset Management GmbH boosted its holdings in shares of NetApp by 12.7% during the 3rd quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH now owns 2,812,288 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $123,066,000 after buying an additional 317,489 shares during the period. 96.67% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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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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