In that regard, I can't imagine NetApp remaining an independent company much longer. On a similar note, as the "the cloud" starts to form and businesses begin to fully embrace migration benefits, it's hard to envision a company such as Cisco ( CSCO) ignoring NetApp's value and making a bid for the company. Cisco, which has been on a shopping spree of late, has enough cash to make this deal happen tomorrow.

Plus, with so much competition for big data, NetApp will have a considerable amount of value to companies that want to leverage their enterprise presence and become one-stop shops. From that standpoint, investors can't rule out a name like Oracle ( ORCL) from stepping in and making a bid. After all, NetApp is "big data" and Oracle is "data analytics" - it makes too much sense.

Bottom Line

Since reaching a recent low of $26, NetApp stock is up 25%. This means that although there are a lot of questions that need to be answered with NetApp, it seems the Street is still willing to give the company the benefit of the doubt.

With enterprise spending expected to rebound in 2013, there will be opportunities for NetApp to prove that its current valuation today is a steal. But then it might be too late, which means now is the time to buy.

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

This article was written 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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