Short Interest in NetApp Inc. (NTAP) Rises By 11.1%

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NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP) was the target of a significant increase in short interest in February. As of February 28th, there was short interest totalling 15,257,108 shares, an increase of 11.1% from the February 15th total of 13,732,171 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 2,753,377 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 5.5 days. Currently, 6.2% of the shares of the company are sold short.

In related news, EVP Henri P. Richard sold 5,050 shares of NetApp stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.01, for a total transaction of $333,350.50. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 56,707 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,743,229.07. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP Joel D. Reich sold 20,000 shares of NetApp stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.04, for a total value of $1,280,800.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 744 shares in the company, valued at $47,645.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.19% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of NTAP. Boston Partners raised its position in NetApp by 4.2% in the 4th quarter. Boston Partners now owns 6,701,926 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $399,904,000 after purchasing an additional 268,195 shares during the last quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund raised its position in NetApp by 3,540.4% in the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 6,050,717 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $101,000 after purchasing an additional 5,884,508 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its position in NetApp by 4.3% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 4,082,660 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $243,266,000 after purchasing an additional 169,398 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its position in NetApp by 67.6% in the 3rd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 3,910,776 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $335,897,000 after purchasing an additional 1,577,844 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its position in NetApp by 45.4% in the 4th quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 3,582,797 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $213,787,000 after purchasing an additional 1,119,253 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 92.61% of the company’s stock.

A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on the company. BMO Capital Markets decreased their price objective on NetApp to $80.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, February 14th. Lake Street Capital decreased their price objective on NetApp to $69.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, February 14th. Zacks Investment Research raised NetApp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $76.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday, November 27th. Maxim Group decreased their price objective on NetApp from $91.00 to $89.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, November 15th. Finally, Cowen assumed coverage on NetApp in a report on Tuesday, December 11th. They set an “underperform” rating and a $53.00 price objective on the stock. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating, fifteen have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. NetApp currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $77.16.

NASDAQ:NTAP opened at $65.74 on Friday. NetApp has a 1 year low of $54.50 and a 1 year high of $88.08. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.93, a current ratio of 1.56 and a quick ratio of 1.53. The company has a market capitalization of $16.19 billion, a PE ratio of 21.99, a PEG ratio of 1.15 and a beta of 1.40.

NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, February 13th. The data storage provider reported $1.20 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.15 by $0.05. NetApp had a net margin of 16.85% and a return on equity of 60.32%. The company had revenue of $1.56 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.60 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.99 earnings per share. NetApp’s quarterly revenue was up 1.6% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that NetApp will post 4.04 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, April 24th. Stockholders of record on Friday, April 5th will be paid a $0.40 dividend. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.43%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, April 4th. NetApp’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 53.51%.

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NetApp Company Profile

NetApp, Inc provides software, systems, and services to manage and share data 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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