NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP) Upgraded to “Buy” at StockNews.com

StockNews.com upgraded shares of NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAPGet Rating) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday.

Several other research analysts have also recently issued reports on NTAP. Wells Fargo & Company dropped their target price on NetApp from $95.00 to $90.00 and set an equal weight rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, February 24th. William Blair reiterated an outperform rating on shares of NetApp in a research note on Wednesday, March 23rd. Susquehanna Bancshares upped their price objective on NetApp from $105.00 to $110.00 and gave the stock a positive rating in a research note on Thursday, February 24th. Morgan Stanley cut NetApp from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating and decreased their target price for the stock from $102.00 to $91.00 in a report on Tuesday, April 12th. Finally, UBS Group began coverage on shares of NetApp in a report on Tuesday, April 5th. They issued a neutral rating and a $91.00 target price for the company. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat, the company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $99.26.

Shares of NASDAQ NTAP opened at $73.02 on Tuesday. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $80.02 and its 200-day moving average price is $86.01. NetApp has a 52-week low of $70.86 and a 52-week high of $96.82. The company has a market cap of $16.25 billion, a PE ratio of 16.52, a PEG ratio of 1.85 and a beta of 1.24. The company has a quick ratio of 1.51, a current ratio of 1.55 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.70.

NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAPGet Rating) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, February 23rd. The data storage provider reported $1.20 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.07 by $0.13. The business had revenue of $1.61 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.61 billion. NetApp had a net margin of 16.34% and a return on equity of 126.47%. The firm’s revenue was up 9.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.94 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that NetApp will post 4.26 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, April 27th. Shareholders of record on Friday, April 8th were given a dividend of $0.50 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, April 7th. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.74%. NetApp’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 45.25%.

In related news, CEO George Kurian sold 4,250 shares of NetApp stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $75.50, for a total transaction of $320,875.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 130,576 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,858,488. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, President Cesar Cernuda sold 14,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.79, for a total transaction of $1,131,060.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 26,750 shares of company stock valued at $2,217,998. Company insiders own 0.28% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of NetApp by 5.5% during the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 18,715,940 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $1,679,944,000 after purchasing an additional 982,015 shares during the period. State Street Corp boosted its position in NetApp by 4.2% in the 4th quarter. State Street Corp now owns 10,051,825 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $924,667,000 after buying an additional 407,285 shares during the period. Wellington Management Group LLP grew its stake in NetApp by 7.8% in the 3rd quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 4,778,333 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $428,905,000 after acquiring an additional 346,033 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its stake in NetApp by 1.4% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 4,656,425 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $427,514,000 after acquiring an additional 62,115 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Boston Partners raised its stake in shares of NetApp by 14.5% during the first quarter. Boston Partners now owns 4,027,043 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $333,978,000 after acquiring an additional 510,307 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 91.91% of the company’s stock.

About NetApp (Get Rating)

NetApp, Inc provides software, systems, and cloud services to manage and share data on-premises, and private and public clouds worldwide. The company offers cloud storage services, including NetApp Cloud Volumes; cloud control solutions, such as NetApp Cloud Manager and NetApp Virtual Desktop Service; cloud services and analytics comprising NetApp Cloud Insights, NetApp Cloud Sync, NetApp Cloud Compliance, NetApp Cloud Tiering, NetApp SaaS Backup, NetApp Cloud Backup, and NetApp Global File Cache; and Cloud Optimization solutions, such as Spot by NetApp, Spot Cloud Analyzer by NetApp, Spot Eco by NetApp, Spot Ocean by NetApp, Spot Wave by NetApp, Spot Elastigroup by NetApp, and NetApp Virtual Desktop Managed Service.

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