Analysts: Buy This Tech Stock Ahead of Earnings

NTAP soared more than 15% after its last earnings report

Feb 13, 2018 at 1:10 PM
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The shares of software concern NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP) are higher today, as analysts wax optimistic on the stock ahead of the company's earnings release tomorrow night. Loop Capital and BofA-Merrill Lynch both upgraded NTAP stock to "buy," with the latter lifting its price target to $74 from $63 -- territory not charted since early 2001, and representing a premium of 26% to the equity's current perch. Likewise, Citigroup and Maxim lifted their respective price targets on NetApp shares to $62 and $69.

At last check, the stock was 1.5% higher at $58.60, and is set to conquer its 10-day moving average for the first time since late January -- just days after NTAP notched a 17-year high of $64.06. In fact, the aforementioned Loop Capital analyst said the recent stock market pullback presents an opportune time to buy NetApp shares, while Citigroup expects the security's long-term uptrend to resume, and the recent tax plan to lift fiscal third-quarter earnings.

After the company's last earnings report in November, NTAP went on to rally 15.9% in the subsequent session. In fact, the shares have moved higher the day after five of the last six earnings reports.

Should the firm once again best expectations, there's room for additional upgrades. Despite the stock's long-term ascent, just nine of 24 analysts offer up "buy" or better endorsements. Not to mention the average 12-month price target of $61.14 is just a stone's throw from NTAP's current price.

Options traders looking to speculate on the security's short-term trajectory should note NetApp stock's Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) of 92. This lofty reading indicates the stock has consistently exceeded options players' volatility expectations during the past year -- an attractive data point for would-be premium buyers.

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