Storage Software Worth 22% of NetApp’s Stock Value

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NetApp ( NTAP ), the fourth largest player in the external disk storage market, creates innovative storage and data management solutions for small and medium-sized companies around the world. It competes mainly with other storage majors like EMC ( EMC ), IBM ( IBM ), HP ( HPQ ) and Dell ( DELL ).

We recently updated our NetApp model and now calculate a $54.76 price estimate for the company's stock , about 10% ahead of market price. While NetApp derives the bulk of its value from its storage hardware business, the storage software business is actually much more profitable. We estimate that storage software represents 22% of NeApp's equity value.

NetApp is a Big Player in Storage Software

NetApp has steadily gained share in the external disk storage market and was the fourth largest storage hardware vendor in the world (with 10% market share) in Q4 2010. NetApp also held a 9% share in the $3.4 billion storage software market in Q4'10 and was the fourth largest player in this segment behind EMC, Symantec (SYMC) and IBM.

We forecast NetApp's share in the storage software market will continue to grow alongside storage hardware growth, as vendors increasingly bundle storage software with hardware. This trend should allow NetApp to take market share from 'storage software only' vendors like Symantec.

Storage Software is a High Margin Business

Storage software sales have higher gross margin than hardware or service offerings, and thus contributes significantly to the firm's value. The cost of revenues is significantly low on software products, and we forecast storage software gross margin to remain constant going forward.

You can drag the trend lines in the interactive charts above to see the impact of various storage software market share and gross margin scenarios on NetApp's stock value.

See our complete analysis of NetApp stock here



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Investing Ideas , Stocks , US Markets

Referenced Stocks: DELL , EMC , HPQ , IBM , NTAP

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