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NetApp: Too Late for Cisco or Oracle?

Nonetheless, for as much as I appreciate EMC's business and what it has been able to accomplish, from my vantage point, NetApp had become a bit more intriguing if for no other reason than the options that its valuation had presented -- not the least of which was having become a potential target of Cisco and Oracle, two enterprise giants looking to leverage their competitive advantages.

However, since then the stock has risen almost 20%, reaching a short-term high of $33.37. It seems investors have focused on the company's numbers, showing single-digit organic growth and effective competition against both EMC and IBM (IBM - Get Report) in sales of its high-end systems.

So while EMC and to some extent names such as F5 (FFIV) and Juniper (JNPR) continue to receive the lion's share of analysts' coverage, investors would be wise to also start paying attention to what is now going on at NetApp. Though there are yet many questions to be answered.

Will Wall Street ever be satisfied with what will certainly result in shrinking margins in order to increase sales as the cloud takes shape? Or more appropriately, can the market support both EMC and NetApp -- for that matter, even IBM?

What is clear is that NetApp has no intentions of making this decision easy. Also it seems it cares very little about having priced itself out of M&A contention. Who knows, maybe it has actually made itself more attractive.

At the time of publication, the author held no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
Richard Saintvilus is a private investor with an information technology and engineering background and has been investing and trading for over 15 years. He employs conservative strategies in assessing equities and appraising value while minimizing downside risk. His decisions are based in part on management, growth prospects, return on equity and price-to-earnings as well as macroeconomic factors. He is an investor who seeks opportunities whether on the long or short side and believes in changing positions as information changes.
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