Why NetApp's Shares Slumped

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

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What: Shares of NetApp fell as much as 9.8% on Thursday, and closed down 7.3%, after the data-storage specialist announced revenues and earnings per share (EPS) for its fiscal third quarter ended Jan. 23 that fell short of Wall Street's expectations. The company's guidance for the current quarter also disappointed.

So what: By the numbers: NetApp's quarterly revenues declined 6% year on year, to $1.55 billion, with (adjusted) earnings per share at $0.75. Wall Street analysts were looking for $1.6 billion and $0.77 per share.

Meanwhile, the company expects revenue in a range of $1.55 billion to $1.65 billion in the current quarter, with adjusted EPS between $0.70 and $0.75. The top of both of those ranges are below the pre-announcement consensus forecasts of $1.69 billion (revenues) and $0.89 (EPS).

The company did announce a new share repurchase authorization of $2.5 billion to follow the existing program, which has $206 million left to run. NetApp expects to complete the $2.5 billion in repurchases by May 2018, with an estimated completion date for the first $1 billion of May 2016. This is the sort of thing that usually pleases Wall Street; but, as Barron's points out, "with a commitment to buy back $1 billion under the new plan by next May ... the pace of repurchases continues roughly as it has been."

Now what: Barron's reported that CFO Nick Noviello says the strength of the dollar represents half of the difference between the company's revenue estimate for the current quarter and Wall Street's consensus estimate. Still, since NetApp can't control currency effects, it needs to continue focusing on its branded storage business, even as the shares are approaching the territory where they're beginning to look like decent value.

The article Why NetApp's Shares Slumped originally appeared on Fool.com.

Alex Dumortier, CFA has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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