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Robertson Stephens Cuts Network Appliance

Shares of Network Appliance (NTAB) were down after Robertson Stephens downgraded its long-term investment rating on the company to attractive.

Analyst Dane Lewis said recent checks indicate IT purchases will fall off sharply in the first quarter of 2001. Lewis also said the IT environment will increase margin pressure for Network Appliance. Additionally, ASP declines will likely be exacerbated in early 2001 as IT vendors fight for budget dollars that will be down year-over-year.

Meanwhile, Network Appliance continues to have the best network attached storage (NAS) product. But with increasing competition, significant exposure, the company may have difficulty meeting expectations.

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