Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Wednesday morning. The brokerage currently has $43.00 target price on the data storage provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Seagate is the second-largest manufacturer of HDDs in the U.S. Estimates have been going up ahead of the company's Q1 earnings release. Seagate's recent decision to cut the global workforce will drive its bottom-line performance in the long run. We believe that it is a step in the right direction as the shrinking of the PC business necessitates measures to align costs accordingly. Going forward, the company should benefit from the strength in its hybrid drives. Also, it is focusing on the enterprise side, where it could acquire higher-margin businesses. Synergies from acquisitions and product innovations are other growth drivers.”

STX has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Craig Hallum lifted their price target on Seagate Technology PLC from $37.00 to $50.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 7th. Vetr raised Seagate Technology PLC from a strong sell rating to a sell rating and set a $31.33 price target for the company in a research report on Tuesday, September 6th. Bank of America Corp. reaffirmed a sell rating and set a $28.00 price target on shares of Seagate Technology PLC in a research report on Tuesday, September 13th. Royal Bank Of Canada lifted their price objective on Seagate Technology PLC from $34.00 to $40.00 and gave the company a sector perform rating in a research note on Monday. Finally, Brean Capital reiterated a buy rating and set a $42.00 price objective on shares of Seagate Technology PLC in a research note on Wednesday, September 28th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have given a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Seagate Technology PLC has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $35.27.

Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX) traded down 2.18% during trading on Wednesday, hitting $37.70. The stock had a trading volume of 2,163,969 shares. Seagate Technology PLC has a 52-week low of $18.42 and a 52-week high of $49.50. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $35.36 and its 200-day moving average price is $28.93. The company has a market cap of $11.31 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 45.98 and a beta of 2.50.

Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 2nd. The data storage provider reported $0.69 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.60 by $0.09. The firm earned $2.65 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.32 billion. Seagate Technology PLC had a return on equity of 38.98% and a net margin of 2.22%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 9.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.77 EPS. Analysts predict that Seagate Technology PLC will post $3.03 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, October 15th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, September 21st will be paid a $0.63 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 19th. This represents a $2.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 6.54%. Seagate Technology PLC’s payout ratio is currently 307.32%.

In other Seagate Technology PLC news, CFO David H. Morton, Jr. sold 1,716 shares of Seagate Technology PLC stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $36.16, for a total value of $62,050.56. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 20,782 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $751,477.12. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Mark Re sold 12,750 shares of Seagate Technology PLC stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $31.84, for a total transaction of $405,960.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 65,520 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,086,156.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.50% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in STX. Pzena Investment Management LLC raised its position in shares of Seagate Technology PLC by 58.1% in the second quarter. Pzena Investment Management LLC now owns 15,500,305 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $377,587,000 after buying an additional 5,696,037 shares during the period. ValueAct Holdings L.P. bought a new position in shares of Seagate Technology PLC during the second quarter worth $73,080,000. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its position in shares of Seagate Technology PLC by 47.3% in the first quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 8,121,266 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $279,778,000 after buying an additional 2,607,145 shares during the period. Prudential Financial Inc. raised its position in shares of Seagate Technology PLC by 438.4% in the second quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 2,364,558 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $57,601,000 after buying an additional 1,925,388 shares during the period. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Seagate Technology PLC by 5.3% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 27,746,230 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $675,899,000 after buying an additional 1,388,053 shares during the period. 83.86% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Seagate Technology PLC Company Profile

Seagate Technology public limited company is a provider of electronic data storage technology and solutions. The Company’s principal products are hard disk drives (HDDs). In addition to HDDs, it produces a range of electronic data storage products, including solid state hybrid drives, solid state drives, peripheral component interconnect express (PCIe) cards and serial advanced technology architecture (SATA) controllers.

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