Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report report published on Tuesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $93.00 target price on the data storage provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “NetApp reported stellar first-quarter results, driven by strong product adoption, increasing deal wins, and expanding customer base across varied geographies. Moreover, the company’s transition to data fabric strategy (a software-defined approach to data management) is expanding business opportunities. Further, the company increased momentum of its HCI and expanded new cloud partnerships, which contributed to overall revenue growth. The company also provided an encouraging forthcoming guidance. Management remains hopeful about making the most of the exponential rate of data growth with its cloud-integrated all-flash solutions that fit well with hybrid cloud infrastructure. Notably, shares of the company have outperformed the industry in the past year.”

A number of other brokerages have also weighed in on NTAP. Argus increased their target price on shares of NetApp to $90.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, July 5th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. DA Davidson reiterated a buy rating and set a $90.00 target price (up previously from $83.00) on shares of NetApp in a research report on Monday, July 9th. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on shares of NetApp from $65.00 to $70.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a research report on Thursday, August 16th. Deutsche Bank increased their target price on shares of NetApp from $40.00 to $43.00 and gave the stock a sell rating in a research report on Thursday, May 24th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies increased their target price on shares of NetApp from $75.00 to $77.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research report on Thursday, May 24th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating, twenty have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $78.23.

Shares of NASDAQ:NTAP opened at $84.24 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.80, a current ratio of 2.06 and a quick ratio of 2.03. The stock has a market cap of $21.42 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.17, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.48 and a beta of 1.19. NetApp has a twelve month low of $37.55 and a twelve month high of $84.29.

NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, August 15th. The data storage provider reported $1.04 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.80 by $0.24. The firm had revenue of $1.47 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.42 billion. NetApp had a net margin of 3.68% and a return on equity of 41.75%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 11.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.62 earnings per share. analysts predict that NetApp will post 3.91 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 24th. Shareholders of record on Friday, October 5th will be given a dividend of $0.40 per share. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.90%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, October 4th. NetApp’s dividend payout ratio is currently 53.51%.

In other NetApp news, CEO George Kurian sold 6,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, June 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.36, for a total transaction of $410,160.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, VP Joel D. Reich sold 23,108 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $67.72, for a total value of $1,564,873.76. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 52,997 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,588,956.84. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 248,901 shares of company stock valued at $19,174,106 in the last three months. Insiders own 0.19% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC lifted its position in NetApp by 441.0% during the first quarter. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC now owns 1,650 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $102,000 after buying an additional 1,345 shares during the period. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. lifted its position in NetApp by 16,433.3% during the second quarter. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. now owns 1,488 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $116,000 after buying an additional 1,479 shares during the period. Fortis Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of NetApp in the 1st quarter worth about $127,000. Mount Yale Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of NetApp in the 1st quarter worth about $191,000. Finally, Greenleaf Trust purchased a new position in shares of NetApp in the 2nd quarter worth about $206,000. 94.95% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

NetApp Company Profile

NetApp, Inc provides software, systems, and services to manage and share date on-premises, and private and public clouds worldwide. It offers cloud data services, such as ONTAP cloud storage data management and NetApp cloud sync data synchronization services; NetApp SaaS backup for Microsoft Office 365; NetApp cloud backup solutions; OnCommand management software and management integration tools; and NetApp private storage for cloud.

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