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D.A. Davidson Sees +22% Upside For NetApp On ONTAP Software, New Flash Products

Erika Janowicz

D.A. Davidson & Co. analyst Mark Kelleher initiated coverage on NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) with a Buy rating and $45.00 price target.

Although NetApp has faced "significant" headwinds of its OEM business with IBM, Kelleher expects the branded business to be more visible. The analyst highlighted the company's new product release. He noted that these Flash products will "significantly expand the company's addressable market to the high-performance segment of the storage market."

The firm added that NetApp's secret recipe lies within its Clustered ONTAP software.

Kelleher wrote, "As the name suggests, this storage management operating system allows clustering of storage arrays – multiple arrays connected in a fabric that appears as one system to the application. Such an architecture has significant advantages in its ability to scale (add more nodes to a cluster), provide high-availability (the storage of failed nodes can be accessed by other nodes), and provide hybrid capabilities (flash can be added to some nodes, or a node could be all flash)."

Shares of NetApp closed at $36.73 on Tuesday. The analyst's price target suggests a 22.5 percent upside.

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