NetApp Inc. Stock Buy Recommendation Reiterated (NTAP)

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- NetApp (Nasdaq: NTAP) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of B- . The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Although NTAP's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.28 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average. To add to this, NTAP has a quick ratio of 1.74, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • The gross profit margin for NETAPP INC is rather high; currently it is at 64.60%. Regardless of NTAP's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, NTAP's net profit margin of 4.40% is significantly lower than the same period one year prior.
  • NETAPP INC's earnings per share declined by 50.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past year. However, we anticipate this trend reversing over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, NETAPP INC reported lower earnings of $1.57 versus $1.71 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.11 versus $1.57).
  • NTAP, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 23.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 0.9%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has declined marginally to $229.20 million or 4.73% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow of 4.73%, NETAPP INC is in line with the industry average cash flow growth rate of -7.26%.

NetApp, Inc. engages in design, manufacture, marketing, and technical support of networked storage solutions. The company supply enterprise storage and data management software, and hardware products and services. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.5, equal to the average computer hardware industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. NetApp has a market cap of $12.55 billion and is part of the technology sector and computer hardware industry. Shares are down 2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

You can view the full NetApp Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

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