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First Albany Keeps 'Strong Buy' on Network Appliance

First Albany reiterated its strong buy rating on Network Appliance (NTAP).

Analyst Mark Kelleher says business on track for the maker of network data storage devices to achieve his fourth quarter estimates of six cents earnings per share, on $235 million revenue. He says government spending is down in the third quarter, despite a 6% sequential rise in overall revenue for Network Appliance, due to seasonality.

He notes the government budget is now approved, and he thinks sales to government agencies, including the Department of Defense, and the Transportation Safety Administration, will comprise more than 10% of total revenue in the fourth quarter. Kelleher notes spending from Homeland Security should ramp up in 2005. He sees 37 cents fiscal 2004 (Apr.) earnings per share, and has a $17.50 target.

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