Analysts See Netapp Shares Rising in Near Term

Netapp (NASDAQ:NTAP) was met with a slew of upbeat analyst notes on Wednesday after it launched its first ever dividend and ramped up its buyback program.

Several brokerages raised their price targets on the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based storage systems maker on Wednesday, including UBS (NYSE:UBS), which upped its target to $42 from $37 on a “neutral” rating, Raymond James (NYSE:RJF), which raised it by two-dollars to $42 on an “outperform” rating, and BMO, which increased its price target to $43 from $41 on a “market perform” rating.

The company on Tuesday unleashed a string of shareholder value programs as part of an effort to calm jitters about the information technology market, including raising its repurchase program by another $1.6 billion to $3.0 billion, which it expects to complete within the next three years.

It also declared a quarterly cash dividend of 15 cents a share and announced plans to lay off about 900 workers to meet streamlining goals.

Shares of NetApp recently were up 4.5% to $38.23. They have risen 14% since the beginning of January.

Netapp’s earnings in the fourth quarter fell by 3.8% and it reiterated a full-year outlook that falls short of Wall Street expectations on both the top- and bottom-lines.

Despite being met with upbeat analyst notes, Moody’s Ratings on Tuesday said NetApp’s recent moves do not affect or change it credit outlook.