Shares of NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP) were up 6.2% during trading on Thursday following a better than expected earnings announcement. The stock traded as high as $39.00 and last traded at $36.90, with a volume of 14,091,942 shares. The stock had previously closed at $34.73.

The data storage provider reported $0.60 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.54 by $0.06. NetApp had a return on equity of 15.82% and a net margin of 5.87%. The business earned $1.34 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.36 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.61 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 7.3% compared to the same quarter last year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 25th. Shareholders of record on Friday, January 6th will be given a dividend of $0.19 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, January 4th. This represents a $0.76 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.06%. NetApp’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 68.47%.

Several research analysts have issued reports on NTAP shares. RBC Capital Markets boosted their target price on NetApp to $32.00 in a research report on Thursday, August 18th. BMO Capital Markets lifted their price target on shares of NetApp to $39.00 in a research note on Thursday. DA Davidson reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $35.00 price target on shares of NetApp in a research note on Monday, August 15th. Maxim Group lifted their price target on shares of NetApp from $39.00 to $40.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, August 15th. Finally, Cross Research raised shares of NetApp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, September 26th. Eleven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-five have issued a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $32.54.

In other news, CEO George Kurian sold 48,176 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $34.87, for a total value of $1,679,897.12. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 92,746 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,234,053.02. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Robert T. Wall sold 22,944 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $35.45, for a total transaction of $813,364.80. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 36,048 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,277,901.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.49% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Sirios Capital Management L P purchased a new stake in NetApp during the second quarter valued at $61,213,000. Morgan Stanley boosted its stake in NetApp by 212.4% in the third quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 2,315,447 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $82,941,000 after buying an additional 1,574,330 shares during the period. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. boosted its stake in NetApp by 14.8% in the second quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 9,225,320 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $226,851,000 after buying an additional 1,189,529 shares during the period. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. boosted its stake in NetApp by 2,289.5% in the second quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. now owns 974,669 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $23,967,000 after buying an additional 933,879 shares during the period. Finally, BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in NetApp by 169.9% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,397,104 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $34,354,000 after buying an additional 879,433 shares during the period. 89.59% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

The firm’s 50 day moving average is $33.95 and its 200-day moving average is $29.41. The stock has a market capitalization of $10.28 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.21 and a beta of 1.49.

NetApp Company Profile

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.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:NTAP

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