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Citigroup upgrades network data storage device company Network Appliance (NTAP
) to hold from sell.
Analyst Paul Mansky says he is upgrading Network Appliance because of two factors: consensus expectations have come down and April business has improved.
He says his channel checks show revenue gap was closed by a modest uptick in end-demand, coupled with more aggressive pricing in hardware. He notes the company has been primarily a revenue growth story over the last year to two.
Mansky expects better balance heading into fiscal 2006 (ending April). For now, he keeps his earnings per share estimates of 62 cents for fiscal 2005 and 78 cents for fiscal 2006, but raises $25.50 price target to $30.