Guggenheim began coverage on shares of NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP) in a research report report published on Thursday, MarketBeat.com reports. The firm issued a buy rating and a $94.00 target price on the data storage provider’s stock.
“We are initiating coverage of Buy rating and $94 price target. We believe NTAP has regained momentum and competitive edge over the past 2 years, facing the same public cloud headwind as other traditional systems OEMs but 1) jumping from laggard to leader in all-flash arrays (AFAs) and 2) leveraging its core ONTAP software into one of the market’s most compelling “hybrid” cloud platforms. NTAP’s common software stack can now be deployed on-prem or in the cloud and its new software-only SaaS business could even help make the cloud accretive. We believe enterprise storage demand is reaccelerating, driven by investments in machine learning (ML) and AI that feed on massive amounts of processing thrown at massive amounts of data storage.”,” the firm’s analyst commented.
Several other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on NTAP. Piper Jaffray Companies restated an overweight rating and set a $72.00 target price on shares of NetApp in a research note on Friday, March 23rd. UBS Group boosted their target price on NetApp from $70.00 to $71.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 28th. Cross Research cut NetApp from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Monday, April 2nd. Pivotal Research raised NetApp from a hold rating to a buy rating and lifted their price target for the stock from $62.00 to $72.00 in a research report on Wednesday, April 4th. Finally, DA Davidson set a $79.00 price target on NetApp and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Friday, April 6th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating, twenty-two have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $69.26.
NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, May 23rd. The data storage provider reported $1.05 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.01 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $1.64 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.60 billion. NetApp had a return on equity of 33.87% and a net margin of 1.29%. The firm’s revenue was up 10.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.86 earnings per share. sell-side analysts anticipate that NetApp will post 3.55 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, July 25th. Stockholders of record on Friday, July 6th will be issued a $0.40 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, July 5th. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.93%. This is a positive change from NetApp’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. NetApp’s payout ratio is presently 53.51%.
In other news, SVP Matthew K. Fawcett sold 16,188 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.42, for a total value of $1,139,958.96. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 55,856 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,933,379.52. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO George Kurian sold 38,241 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.24, for a total value of $2,991,975.84. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 142,218 shares in the company, valued at approximately $11,127,136.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 204,282 shares of company stock worth $14,990,044. Corporate insiders own 0.47% of the company’s stock.
Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Atria Investments LLC acquired a new position in shares of NetApp in the second quarter valued at approximately $209,000. Palo Capital Inc. acquired a new position in shares of NetApp in the second quarter valued at approximately $4,465,000. Campbell & CO Investment Adviser LLC increased its holdings in shares of NetApp by 21.4% in the second quarter. Campbell & CO Investment Adviser LLC now owns 8,503 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $668,000 after purchasing an additional 1,500 shares during the period. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. acquired a new position in shares of NetApp in the second quarter valued at approximately $6,177,000. Finally, Gateway Investment Advisers LLC acquired a new position in shares of NetApp in the second quarter valued at approximately $3,439,000. 92.40% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
NetApp Company Profile
NetApp, Inc provides software, systems, and services to manage and store computer data worldwide. It offers flash; flash arrays that support data management; hybrid arrays to deploy the speed of flash storage; hybrid cloud; ONTAP cloud storage data management service; NetApp cloud sync hybrid data management Software as a Service; NetApp private storage for cloud; and AltaVault cloud-integrated solutions.
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