By Narrative Science NetApp's (NTAP) stock closed at $34.27 on May 17, 2012, down 20.3% since February 21, 2012. NetApp tries to reverse the slide when it reports fourth quarter earnings on Wednesday, May 23, 2012. What to Expect: Analysts are expecting NetApp to report earnings of 49 cents per share, up 4.3% from a year ago when it reported earnings of 47 cents per share. The consensus estimate has gone up, from 48 cents, over the past three months. Analysts are projecting earnings of $1.81 per share for the fiscal year. Revenue is projected to be 12% above the year-earlier total of $1.51 billion at $1.69 billion for the quarter. For the year, revenue is expected to come in at $6.22 billion. Trends to Watch For: In each of the last four quarters, the company has seen double-digit year-over-year revenue growth. Over that time span, revenue has increased by an average of 26.3%, with the largest growth in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year when it rose 28.8% year-over-year. The company has been reaping profit in the past eight quarters, and for the last four, it has seen an average of 0.5% growth in profit year-over-year. The company saw the biggest boost in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, in which it saw a 33.8% growth. Analyst Ratings: The majority of analysts (51.9%) rate NetApp as a buy. That percentage is still below the mean analyst rating of its nearest 10 competitors, which average 52.9% buys. Competitors: NetApp offers solutions for storing, managing, protecting and archiving business data with enterprise storage and data management software and hardware products and services. One of NetApp's main competitors in the computers and peripherals industry is IBM (IBM). Other competitors in the information technology sector include: EMC (EMC), Dot Hill Systems (HILL), and Overland Storage (OVRL).
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