Xponance Inc. Increases Holdings in NetApp Inc. by 11.6% During Fourth Quarter
In its recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Xponance Inc. revealed that it increased its holdings in shares of NetApp, Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP) by 11.6% during the fourth quarter. The institutional investor now owns 50,025 shares of the data storage provider’s stock after acquiring an additional 5,201 shares last quarter. As of its most recent filing with the SEC, Xponance Inc.’s holdings in NetApp were valued at $3,005,000.
Research firms have weighed in on predictions for NTAP’s future performance. StockNews.com began coverage on NetApp in a report on March 16th with a “hold” rating on the stock. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft reduced their price target on NetApp from $74.00 to $70.00 while Raymond James reduced theirs from $80.00 to $75.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report released on February 23rd.
Similarly, Susquehanna reduced their price target on NetApp to $62.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company as UBS Group lowered theirs from $78.00 to $74.00 and also set their recommendation as “neutral.” According to Bloomberg, currently two equities research analysts rate NTAP as a “sell,” eleven issue hold ratings and eight provide buy ratings resulting in a consensus target price of $75.21.
Today NASDAQ:NTAP opened trading at $64.19 which is slightly below both its 50-day moving average price of $64.81 and its 200-day moving average price of $65.35 respectively; while the company’s market capitalization stands at nearly $13.73 billion with beta value of 1.19. NetApp has a 12-month low of $58.08 and a high of $83.90. Furthermore, the company has current and quick ratios of 1.34 and 1.29, respectively witha debt-to-equity ratio of 2.17.
Xponance Inc.’s decision to increase its holdings in shares of NetApp signals their optimistic view on this data storage provider’s future prospects despite some research firms lowering price targets and rating it as “neutral”.
In light of these developments, investors may wish to carefully consider NetApp’s performance versus predictions by analysts, market trends, and other factors before making any investment decisions.
NetApp’s Share Price Attracts Institutional Investors Despite CEO and President’s Insider Trading
NetApp Inc.’s share price continues to attract the attention of institutional investors as a number bought and sold shares in the company recently. Quadrant Capital Group LLC, for instance, upped its holdings by 12.6% in Q3 2016, while Fifth Third Bancorp raised its ownership by 4.2%. Orion Portfolio Solutions and CI Investments also increased their holdings in the same quarter by 4.3% and 5.4%, respectively, whereas Bessemer Group Inc lifted its ownership by 1.9%. Institutional investors now own a staggering 87.92% of NetApp’s stock.
However, a recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission reveals that NetApp CEO George Kurian sold 2,250 shares of company stock at an average price of $64.50 on January 9th 2017 for a total transaction value of $145,125.00. Kurian still holds direct ownership of 154,726 shares of the firm priced at $9,979,827 following completion of the sale. In similar news covering insider trading activity, NetApp President Cesar Cernuda also sold 18,000 shares in mid-March this year at an average price per share of $60.09 for total proceeds amounting to more than $1m.
Amidst mixed reviews from market research firms such as Susquehanna and Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft lowering their overall rating on NetApp and reducing their respective price target on company shares from $65 to $62 and then again from $74 to $70; another research firm StockNews.com began coverage on NetApp in mid-March recommending that investors hold onto their shares for now.
NetApp’s success story continues based on outstanding revenue growth achieved during Q2 FY17 when it reported earnings per share (EPS) amounting to $1.37 following analyst estimates ranging from $1.16 to $1.31 per share for the company, showing an increase of 14% over the same period last year, with a current consensus being reached among analysts about NetApp’s stock showing an “Hold” rating and a consensus target price of $75.21.
NetApp also announced its plans to pay its shareholders their quarterly dividend yields next week. Investors who hold shares in the company as of Thursday, April 6th, will be entitled to receive dividends worth $0.50 per share paid out on Wednesday 26th, April this year. Based on this quarter dividend payout record, NetApp offers investors a yield that is reasonably competitive against other industry peers of roughly around 3.12%.