Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Vmware, Inc. (NYSE:VMW) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “VMware's strong results can be attributed to robust performance of its product offerings like NSX, AirWatch, vSphere, and vSAN. During the last reported quarter, VMware unveiled major updates across its VMware vRealize Cloud Management Platform. We believe that expanding product portfolio, partnerships with the likes of Intel, Samsung, Fujitsu, Pivotal, Alphabet, and Microsoft along with continuing enterprise deal wins will drive results in the rest of fiscal 2018. Further, the company's latest partnership with SAP will help it benefit in the Internet of Things (IoT) market. Moreover, aggressive share repurchase will support bottom-line. The company has outperformed the industry on a year-to-date basis. However, sluggish IT spending as well as intensifying competition from Microsoft and Citrix Systems are the major concerns.”

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. increased their price target on shares of Vmware from $110.00 to $120.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 5th. Stifel Nicolaus raised shares of Vmware from a hold rating to a buy rating and increased their price target for the company from $96.00 to $109.00 in a research report on Wednesday, June 21st. Cowen and Company reissued a market perform rating and set a $104.00 price target (up previously from $98.00) on shares of Vmware in a research report on Monday, August 14th. Barclays PLC raised shares of Vmware from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating and increased their price target for the company from $109.00 to $130.00 in a research report on Thursday, September 14th. Finally, Robert W. Baird set a $115.00 price target on shares of Vmware and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Monday, August 14th. Fifteen research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty have assigned a buy rating to the company. Vmware currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $112.28.

Vmware (NYSE VMW) opened at 117.40 on Monday. The company’s 50-day moving average is $110.40 and its 200-day moving average is $97.22. The company has a market cap of $48.01 billion, a P/E ratio of 42.26 and a beta of 0.72. Vmware has a 52 week low of $72.48 and a 52 week high of $117.40.

Vmware (NYSE:VMW) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 24th. The virtualization software provider reported $1.19 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.15 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $1.90 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.89 billion. Vmware had a net margin of 17.81% and a return on equity of 18.06%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.97 EPS. On average, analysts anticipate that Vmware will post $5.07 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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Vmware announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase plan on Monday, August 14th that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the virtualization software provider to reacquire up to 2.5% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, insider P. Kevan Krysler sold 13,751 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $107.69, for a total transaction of $1,480,845.19. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Zane Rowe sold 6,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $107.82, for a total transaction of $646,920.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 20,885 shares of company stock worth $2,248,548. Insiders own 0.52% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Summit Global Investments purchased a new stake in shares of Vmware during the 2nd quarter valued at about $631,000. Ameriprise Financial Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Vmware by 34.1% during the 1st quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 103,084 shares of the virtualization software provider’s stock valued at $9,495,000 after acquiring an additional 26,199 shares during the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its holdings in shares of Vmware by 64.3% during the 2nd quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 35,641 shares of the virtualization software provider’s stock valued at $3,116,000 after acquiring an additional 13,946 shares during the last quarter. AXA boosted its holdings in shares of Vmware by 102.9% during the 2nd quarter. AXA now owns 120,100 shares of the virtualization software provider’s stock valued at $10,501,000 after acquiring an additional 60,900 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Investec Asset Management PTY Ltd boosted its holdings in shares of Vmware by 18.9% during the 2nd quarter. Investec Asset Management PTY Ltd now owns 33,336 shares of the virtualization software provider’s stock valued at $2,915,000 after acquiring an additional 5,295 shares during the last quarter. 21.80% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Vmware

VMware, Inc is an information technology (IT) company. The Company is engaged in development and application of virtualization technologies with x86 server-based computing, separating application software from the underlying hardware. The Company offers various products, which allow organizations to manage IT resources across private clouds and multi-cloud, multi-device environments by leveraging synergies across three product categories: Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC), Hybrid Cloud Computing and End-User Computing (EUC).

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