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3 Stocks Reiterated As A Hold: NTAP, PM, MS

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- TheStreet Ratings team reiterated 3 stocks with a hold rating on Monday based on 32 different data factors including general market action, fundamental analysis and technical indicators. The in-depth analysis of these ratings decisions goes as follows:

NetApp Inc:

NetApp (Nasdaq: NTAP) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a hold with a ratings score of C+. According to TheStreet Ratings team: The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and weak operating cash flow.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • NETAPP INC has improved earnings per share by 25.5% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, NETAPP INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.85 versus $1.37 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.96 versus $1.85).
  • Although NTAP's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.26 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average. To add to this, NTAP has a quick ratio of 2.17, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Computers & Peripherals industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, NETAPP INC has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $369.50 million or 18.89% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • NTAP has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 7.64% from its price level of one year ago. Looking ahead, we do not see anything in this company's numbers that would change the one-year trend. It was down over the last twelve months; and it could be down again in the next twelve. Naturally, a bull or bear market could sway the movement of this stock.

NetApp, Inc. is engaged in design, manufacture, and marketing of networked storage solutions. The company provides storage and data management software, systems, and services. NetApp has a market cap of $12.3 billion and is part of the technology sector and computer hardware industry. Shares are down 7.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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