Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX) was downgraded by equities research analysts at Barclays PLC from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating in a report released on Thursday, July 13th, Marketbeat.com reports. They currently have a $40.00 price target on the data storage provider’s stock, down from their prior price target of $49.00. Barclays PLC’s target price would indicate a potential upside of 21.25% from the stock’s previous close.

The analysts wrote, “occur at a sluggish pace” or at the expense of growth (see Moskowitz’s track record here).Second, Seagate is facing intense competition from Western Digital Corp (NASDAQ: WDC), which is gaining share in the high-margin enterprise drive segment. Meanwhile, Seagate is struggling to reach high yields and fully qualify its 10TB and 12TB high capacity drives as management likely under-invested in the space.Finally, the likelihood of a Western Digital merger with Toshiba Memory seems more likely now than it has in the past. This could decouple Western Digital from Seagate as a traditional HDD company and could result in investors rotating out of Seagate and into Western Digital.Bottom line the analyst noted that the downgrade is company-specific in nature as the ongoing concerns could “limit Seagate’s relative lift from stronger end markets.”

Other equities analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Longbow Research upgraded Seagate Technology PLC from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $18.42 to $55.00 in a research report on Tuesday, April 11th. BTIG Research restated a “buy” rating and issued a $55.00 price objective on shares of Seagate Technology PLC in a research report on Thursday, April 6th. Jefferies Group LLC lowered their price objective on Seagate Technology PLC from $55.00 to $50.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, April 28th. Aegis started coverage on Seagate Technology PLC in a research report on Tuesday, June 13th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $50.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada restated a “hold” rating and issued a $45.00 price objective on shares of Seagate Technology PLC in a research report on Friday, June 9th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-one have given a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $42.12.

Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ STX) opened at 32.99 on Thursday. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $38.06 and a 200-day moving average price of $43.14. Seagate Technology PLC has a 52 week low of $31.30 and a 52 week high of $50.96. The company has a market capitalization of $9.63 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.79 and a beta of 1.69.

Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 25th. The data storage provider reported $0.65 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.99 by $0.34. Seagate Technology PLC had a net margin of 7.17% and a return on equity of 81.87%. The business had revenue of $2.41 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.56 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.69 earnings per share. Seagate Technology PLC’s revenue was down 9.3% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that Seagate Technology PLC will post $3.70 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, insider Philip G. Brace bought 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 1st. The stock was bought at an average price of $33.34 per share, for a total transaction of $33,340.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the insider now directly owns 62,855 shares in the company, valued at $2,095,585.70. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Chong Sup Park sold 3,809 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.63, for a total value of $166,186.67. Following the sale, the director now owns 11,753 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $512,783.39. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 16,456 shares of company stock valued at $715,313 in the last quarter. 1.50% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Raymond James Trust N.A. raised its stake in Seagate Technology PLC by 3.3% in the first quarter. Raymond James Trust N.A. now owns 10,122 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $465,000 after buying an additional 327 shares in the last quarter. Cornerstone Investment Partners LLC raised its stake in Seagate Technology PLC by 0.3% in the first quarter. Cornerstone Investment Partners LLC now owns 39,580 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $1,818,000 after buying an additional 110 shares in the last quarter. Contravisory Investment Management Inc. bought a new stake in Seagate Technology PLC during the first quarter worth $252,000. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. raised its stake in Seagate Technology PLC by 3.2% in the first quarter. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 255,679 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $11,743,000 after buying an additional 7,862 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Kentucky Retirement Systems Insurance Trust Fund bought a new stake in Seagate Technology PLC during the fourth quarter worth $364,000. Institutional investors own 87.99% of the company’s stock.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX)

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