Data storage company NetApp shares rise after earnings beat

George Kurian, chief executive officer of NetApp Inc.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Shares of rose in early morning trade Thursday, after the data storage company reported third-quarter earnings that beat analysts' expectations. The company also reported strong guidance for the current quarter.

Shares rose nearly 8 percent Thursday morning, trading above $41 after closing at $38.93 on Wednesday. For the year, the stock is up more than 10 percent, compared to the S&P 500's more than 4 percent gain.

NetApp reported non-GAAP earnings of 82 cents per share, topping Thomson Reuters estimates by 8 cents. Further, NetApp reported third-quarter revenue of $1.40 billion, beating estimates of $1.39 billion.

NetApp 1-year performance

Source: FactSet

The stock was upgraded to market perform from underperform at William Blair, which cited "improved product positioning" as a reason for the upgrade. William Blair also sees the Dell-EMC merger as something that could improve NetApp's operating margin, according to a report by analyst Jason Ader.

Goldman Sachs, Jefferies, RBC, UBS and Deutsche Bank all raised their price targets on the company, according to notes obtained by StreetAccount.