Morgan Stanley Lowers VMware (VMW) to Equal

VMware (NYSE:VMW) was downgraded by analysts at Morgan Stanley from an “overweight” rating to an “equal” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday, MarketBeat reports. They presently have a $152.00 price objective on the virtualization software provider’s stock, down from their prior price objective of $175.00. Morgan Stanley’s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 5.41% from the stock’s current price.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Credit Suisse Group began coverage on shares of VMware in a research note on Friday, January 11th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $160.00 target price for the company. Goldman Sachs Group began coverage on shares of VMware in a research note on Friday, January 11th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $155.00 price objective for the company. BMO Capital Markets began coverage on shares of VMware in a research note on Thursday, January 10th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $170.00 price objective for the company. Barclays began coverage on shares of VMware in a research note on Wednesday, January 9th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $168.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Oppenheimer reduced their price objective on shares of VMware from $180.00 to $170.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, January 8th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and seventeen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $168.35.

VMW stock opened at $144.20 on Tuesday. VMware has a one year low of $108.46 and a one year high of $169.25. The firm has a market capitalization of $59.10 billion, a PE ratio of 37.36, a PEG ratio of 2.15 and a beta of 0.68. The company has a quick ratio of 3.04, a current ratio of 3.04 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39.

VMware (NYSE:VMW) last released its earnings results on Thursday, November 29th. The virtualization software provider reported $1.56 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.42. VMware had a net margin of 17.03% and a return on equity of 19.62%. The company had revenue of $2.20 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.17 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.34 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 13.5% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts expect that VMware will post 4.77 EPS for the current year.

In other VMware news, CFO Zane Rowe sold 6,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $165.08, for a total transaction of $1,073,020.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 89,276 shares in the company, valued at approximately $14,737,682.08. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Patrick P. Gelsinger sold 25,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $150.00, for a total transaction of $3,750,000.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 407,743 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $61,161,450. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 161,923 shares of company stock valued at $24,409,673 over the last 90 days. 29.90% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of VMW. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in shares of VMware by 44.5% during the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,501,102 shares of the virtualization software provider’s stock worth $858,503,000 after buying an additional 1,693,475 shares in the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. boosted its position in shares of VMware by 19,743.7% in the third quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 412,749 shares of the virtualization software provider’s stock worth $64,414,000 after acquiring an additional 410,669 shares during the last quarter. MARSHALL WACE ASIA Ltd acquired a new stake in shares of VMware in the third quarter worth approximately $40,688,000. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of VMware by 1.9% in the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 4,387,621 shares of the virtualization software provider’s stock worth $684,732,000 after acquiring an additional 82,729 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc boosted its position in shares of VMware by 1.9% in the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 4,387,621 shares of the virtualization software provider’s stock worth $684,732,000 after acquiring an additional 82,729 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 18.52% of the company’s stock.

About VMware

VMware, Inc provides compute, cloud, mobility, networking, and security infrastructure software to businesses in the United States and internationally. The company offers compute products, including VMware vSphere, a data center platform, which enables users to deploy hypervisor, a layer of software that resides between the operating system and system hardware to enable compute virtualization; storage and availability products that provide data storage and protection options; network and security products; and cloud management and automation products to manage and automate overarching IT processes involved in provisioning IT services and resources to users from initial infrastructure deployment to retirement.

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