Piper Jaffray Downgrades Network Appliance

Analyst Lee Santiago cut his earnings estimates and price target after the company lowered its first-quarter outlook

Network Appliance (NTAP ) cut its first-quarter outlook. Piper Jaffray cut its rating to market perform from outperform.

Analyst Lee Santiago says the company blamed the shortfall on unanticipated product transition from certain high-end products (FAS960 and NearStore R200) to its newly introduced midrange product (FAS3000). Additionally, back-end-loaded FAS3000 order environment, with nearly 90% of FAS3000 orders shipped in month of July, further exacerbated revenue shortfall.

Santiago cut his 80 cents fiscal year 2006 (April) EPS estimate to 75 cents, and $1.03 for fiscal year 2007 to 96 cents. While slightly lower estimates, he slashes his $40 price target to $29 due to compression in his price-earnings and price-sales multiples.

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