Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX) to “Hold”

Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday, July 25th.

According to Zacks, “Seagate's mixed third-quarter fiscal 2017 results reflected the company's focus on improving profitability by not getting involved into lower-margin businesses. Moreover, we believe that new product launches will help it to win enterprise customers on a continuous basis. Estimates have been stable lately ahead of the company's Q4 earnings release. The company has positive record of earnings surprises in the recent quarters. Further, improving PC shipment – per latest data from Gartner and IDC – bodes well for Seagate. In this regard, strong demand for hybrid drives also augurs well for the company. However, intensifying competition is a major headwind. We note that the company has underperformed the broader Zacks Computer Storage Devices industry on a year-to-date basis.”

STX has been the topic of several other reports. Cowen and Company restated a “market perform” rating and set a $45.00 price objective (down from $46.00) on shares of Seagate Technology PLC in a report on Wednesday, April 26th. BTIG Research reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $55.00 target price on shares of Seagate Technology PLC in a research report on Thursday, April 6th. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $45.00 target price (down previously from $46.00) on shares of Seagate Technology PLC in a research report on Saturday, April 29th. Jefferies Group LLC decreased their target price on Seagate Technology PLC from $55.00 to $50.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, April 28th. Finally, Evercore ISI started coverage on Seagate Technology PLC in a research report on Friday, June 16th. They set an “in-line” rating and a $48.00 price objective for the company. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty have assigned a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $42.12.

Shares of Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ STX) traded down 0.44% during trading on Tuesday, reaching $31.37. The company had a trading volume of 2,901,029 shares. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $35.51 and a 200-day moving average price of $42.62. Seagate Technology PLC has a 52-week low of $31.04 and a 52-week high of $50.96. The company has a market capitalization of $9.15 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.16 and a beta of 1.69.

Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 25th. The data storage provider reported $0.65 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.99 by $0.34. Seagate Technology PLC had a return on equity of 81.87% and a net margin of 7.17%. The business had revenue of $2.41 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.56 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.69 earnings per share. Seagate Technology PLC’s revenue for the quarter was down 9.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Seagate Technology PLC will post $3.69 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, insider Philip G. Brace acquired 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 1st. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $33.34 per share, for a total transaction of $33,340.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 62,855 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,095,585.70. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CFO David H. Morton, Jr. sold 3,040 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, June 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $43.26, for a total value of $131,510.40. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 9,063 shares in the company, valued at approximately $392,065.38. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of STX. Winslow Evans & Crocker Inc. increased its position in Seagate Technology PLC by 12.4% in the first quarter. Winslow Evans & Crocker Inc. now owns 2,726 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $125,000 after buying an additional 300 shares during the period. WFG Advisors LP increased its stake in shares of Seagate Technology PLC by 16,536.4% in the second quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 3,660 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $142,000 after buying an additional 3,638 shares during the last quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Seagate Technology PLC during the second quarter valued at approximately $150,000. First Quadrant L P CA acquired a new stake in shares of Seagate Technology PLC during the second quarter valued at approximately $153,000. Finally, Global X Management Co. LLC increased its stake in shares of Seagate Technology PLC by 29.2% in the first quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 3,490 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $160,000 after buying an additional 789 shares during the last quarter. 87.27% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Seagate Technology PLC Company Profile

Seagate Technology public limited company is a provider of electronic data storage technology and solutions. The Company’s principal products are hard disk drives (HDDs). In addition to HDDs, it produces a range of electronic data storage products, including solid state hybrid drives, solid state drives, peripheral component interconnect express (PCIe) cards and serial advanced technology architecture (SATA) controllers.

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