Is This the NetApp Turnaround Investors Have Been Looking For?

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NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ: NTAP) reported its fiscal first-quarter financial results after the markets closed on Wednesday. The company had $0.29 in earnings per share (EPS) on $1.34 billion in revenue, compared to Thomson Reuters consensus estimates of $0.23 in EPS on $1.32 billion in revenue. The same period from the previous year had $0.60 in EPS on $1.49 billion in revenue.

The company also issued guidance for the fiscal second quarter. NetApp expects EPS to be in the range of $0.55 to $0.60 and for revenues to be in the range of $1.40 billion to $1.50 billion. There are consensus estimates of $0.46 in EPS on $1.39 in revenue.

During this quarter, the company returned $484 million to shareholders through share repurchases and a cash dividend. The next dividend in the amount of $0.18 per share will be paid on October 21, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on October 9.

George Kurian, CEO of NetApp, commented on the earnings:

The IT industry as a whole is going through fundamental change as enterprises transform themselves with digital capabilities. Data is at the heart of these transformations and where NetApp has a profoundly important role to play with our differentiated vision for data management. Our first fiscal quarter marks the beginning of a new chapter for NetApp. In the next phase of our journey, we are pivoting to better address the changing industry, to improving our own execution and to enhancing value for our shareholders.

NetApp ended the first quarter of fiscal year 2016 with $5.0 billion in total cash, cash equivalents and investments and generated $129 million in cash from operations.

Shares of NetApp closed down 1.7%, at $29.78 in its 52-week trading range of $29.54 to $43.75. Following the release of the earnings report, shares were initially up about 12% at $33.31 in the after-hours trading session. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $33.52.

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