NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ: NTAP) held its analyst day this past week, and overall it was received pretty well. The firm announced a sizable share repurchase plan and hiked its dividend. Needless to say, analysts praised these moves and hiked their targets in response.
First of all, the board of directors authorized the repurchase plan for an additional $4 billion in shares of its common stock. The share repurchase authorization does not have an expiration date and does not obligate the company to purchase any shares. Also, the share repurchase authorization may be terminated, increased or decreased by the board at any time.
The firm increased its regular quarterly cash dividend to $0.40 from $0.20 per share of common stock. The increase is expected to be effective for the dividend paid in the first quarter of fiscal 2019, this is subject to declaration by the board.
Here’s what analysts had to say after they heard the news:
- BMO raised its target price to $73 from $63.
- Susquehanna raised its target from $65 to $75.
- Merrill Lynch has a Buy rating and raised its target to $78 from $74.
- D.A. Davidson has a Buy rating and raised its price target to $79.
- Longbow Research raised its price target from $70 to $75.
So far in 2018, NetApp has outperformed the broad markets, with its stock up 14%. Over the past 52 weeks, the stock is up 54%.
Shares of NetApp were last seen at $63.11, with a consensus analyst price target of $66.41 and a 52-week range of $37.43 to $65.58.