During tis 2014 analyst day NetApp said it expects EPS growth of "just under 10%" for full-year 2015 (ending April 2015), above analysts' consensus of 6.5% growth according to Seeking Alpha. The company forecasts mid-single digit annual growth in branded revenue from full-year 2015 to 2017, with gross marking between 63% and 64%.
NetApp said it plans to increase its dividend in full-year 2015 and increase its buyback authorization within 12 months. The company had $1.1 billion left on its authorization at the end of full-year 2014.
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TheStreet Ratings team rates NETAPP INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate NETAPP INC (NTAP) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed -- some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. 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."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- 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 the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.
- NTAP has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 7.06% 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.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: NTAP Ratings Report