Stephen Simpson, CFA
Long only, growth at reasonable price, value, research analyst

NetApp Grinding Out Cash-Rich, Growth-Poor Quarters

Conditions in the storage market are pretty lousy. Smaller, newer companies like Nimble Storage (NYSE:NMBL), Pure Storage, and Tintri are doing alright, but the legacy players like EMC (EMC), IBM (NYSE:IBM), and NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP) are having a rough go of it as enterprise customers run older systems for longer and continue to approach storage spending cautiously as they evaluate cloud and flash alternatives.

I don't believe that NetApp is never going to grow again, but I do think the company is paying a price for years of prioritizing margins and cash flow and being reticent to spend its cash on M&A to support its growth prospects. I believe EMC (which I own) has...

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