NetApp Inc.'s Buy Recommendation Supported

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) -- 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 revenue growth, expanding profit margins, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • NTAP's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.8%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displaying stagnant earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for NETAPP INC is rather high; currently it is at 65.32%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 10.12% trails the industry average.
  • Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.48, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further. Despite the fact that NTAP's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 2.03 is high and demonstrates strong liquidity.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, NTAP's share price has jumped by 29.26%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. We feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The other strengths this company shows, however, justify the higher price levels.
  • NETAPP INC reported flat earnings per share in the most recent quarter. 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 $1.37 versus $1.57 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.70 versus $1.37).

NetApp, Inc. engages in design, manufacture, and marketing of networked storage solutions. The company supplies enterprise storage and data management software and hardware products and services. NetApp has a market cap of $14.6 billion and is part of the technology sector and computer hardware industry. Shares are up 26.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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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