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NetApp, Inc.
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About NetApp, Inc.

NetApp makes hardware and software for storing, managing, accessing, and analyzing data. Its products extend customers' IT infrastructure to the cloud environments of Amazon Web Services, Google, IBM, and Microsoft. NetApp's Data Fabric platform is designed to simplify and automate data for companies working in multiple cloud environments. The company's products are gathered under its cloud data services, cloud infrastructure, and storage systems and software businesses. NetApp's customers are in the energy, financial services, government, health care, life sciences, manufacturing, IT, and other sectors. US customers generate about half of the company's sales.

Operations

NetApp gets revenue from the sale of products and providing software maintenance and hardware maintenance. Products provide about 60% of revenue while hardware maintenance accounts for about 25% and software maintenance, about 15%.

The company sells configured systems, which are bundled hardware and software products, as well as add-on flash, disk and hybrid storage and related operating systems, original equipment manufacturer products, and add-on hardware and software.

The company's products include flash storage systems and the software for running those systems. Hardware and software fall under the company's Data Fabric platform designed to help customers store, manage, and access data. Hardware products include all-flash and hybrid flash arrays. Software systems include NetApp Cloud Sync, the NetApp Software Portfolio, and the ONTAP Storage Operating System.

NetApp also provides hardware maintenance and other services. The company outsources the production of its hardware to third parties operating in the US, Mexico, Europe, and Asia.

Geographic Reach

NetApp has customers in some 140 countries. Its biggest market is the US, which accounts for 50% of sales, with Canada and Latin America comprising another 5% of revenue. The Europe, the Middle East, and Africa region accounts for about 30% of revenue, while the Asia/Pacific region generates the rest. 

The company is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, and has operations in North Carolina, Kansas, and India.

Sales and Marketing

NetApp has field sales offices in about 45 countries. It employs a multichannel distribution strategy, selling products and services to end users and service providers through a direct sales force and channel partners, including value-added resellers, system integrators, OEMs, and distributors. NetApp relies on distributors Arrow Electronics Inc. and Avnet Inc. for about 45% of revenue.

Financial Performance

After falling for three years, NetApp's sales improved in 2018 and again in 2019, when sales climbed above the $6 billion-level that the company had reached from 2012-2015. The company's net income has fluctuated, but trended lower over the past five years before surging in 2019.

In 2019 (ended April), revenue rose 4% to $6.1 billion from 2018, pushed by a 7% increase in product revenue and higher software maintenance revenue. Sales of hardware maintenance and other services dropped year-over-year.

NetApp's net income zoomed to about $1.2 billion in 2019 from $116 million in 2018. The company's provision for income tax was $99 million in 2019 compared to more than $1 billion in 2018 (to comply with the US Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017). Income before taxes was $1.2 billion in 2019 and $1.1 billion in 2018, but for both years it was 20% of revenue.

The company had $1.3 billion in cash in 2019, a decrease of $600 million from 2018. In 2019, cash from operations was $1.3 billion while investing activities provided $704 million and financing activities used $2.6 billion. NetApp spent $2.1 billion to buy back its shares in 2019.

NetApp's debt of $1.6 billion could put the company at risk if it pays down debt with money that could be used for investments, capital expenditures, acquisitions, and other corporate purposes. The company reduced its debt in 2019 and lowered interest expense to $58 million compared to $62 million in 2018. 

Strategy

A large part of NetApp's strategy is to help its customers move their storage to cloud computing environments and manage data between different environments, such as between private and hybrid clouds. The company has concentrated on developing software that helps customers manage data over various systems as storage hardware has fallen of favor with companies.

NetApp in 2018 formed a partnership with Lenovo, the Hong Kong-based computer maker, to develop and sell products that use Lenovo's server line and NetApp's all-flash storage management hardware and software. They also created a joint venture to sell in the China market. The joint venture is central to NetApp's sales channels strategy in China. It distributes NetApp products to customers headquartered in China and makes some OEM sales to Lenovo.

Mergers and consolidation in the storage business could bring bigger competitors into NetApp's orbit. The 2016 combination of Dell and EMC created a multi-faceted, well-resourced competitor, and the acquisition of Nimble by Hewlett Packard Enterprise provided Nimble with access to deeper resources.

NetApp is exposed to trade battles between the US and other countries. Most of NetApp's products are made outside the US and international customers account for about 50% of revenue. Higher costs due to tariffs could cut into NetApp's profits.

Mergers and Acquisitions

NetApp continues to use acquisitions to add functionality to its product line, to enter new markets and, to adapt to evolving technology.

NetApp acquired Cognigo, a data security firm based in Israel, in 2019. Cognigo's security offerings use artificial intelligence and natural language processing to categorize pieces of data according to regulations for specific types of data.

In 2018 NetApp acquired StackPointCloud to build out its multi-cloud management tools. NetApp will use StackPointCloud to launch NetApp Kubernetes Service, a platform that'll work across Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services, and NetApp hyperconverged infrastructure.

In 2017, NetApp bought Greenqloud, a Reykjavik, Iceland-based developer of technology for enterprise-scale cloud management. Also in 2017 NetApp acquired Plexistor, which provides memory-based storage.

Company Background

David Hitz and James Lau along with Michael Malcolm founded Network Appliance in 1992. The trio saw a market for file servers, hardware that takes the storage duties out of high-performance UNIX-based computers and speeds data flow.

Donald Valentine of Sequoia Capital invested in Network Appliance in 1994, and was named chairman. He promptly brought on board as CEO Daniel Warmenhoven, the top executive of telecommunications company Network Equipment Technologies. (It was the return of a favor -- Warmenhoven had given Valentine a tip on investing in a late-1980s fledgling named Cisco Systems.) Warmenhoven ditched the company's network of resellers and built an in-house sales and marketing unit. Network Appliance went public in 1995.

NetApp, Inc.

1395 CROSSMAN AVE
Sunnyvale, CA 94089-1114
Phone: 1 (408) 822-6000

Stats

Employer Type: Publicly Owned
Stock Symbol: NTAP
Stock Exchange: , NASDAQ
President and CEO: George Kurian
Vice Chairman: Tom Mendoza
Chairman: T. Michael Nevens
Employees (This Location): 1,600
Employees (All Locations): 10,500

Major Office Locations

Sunnyvale, CA

Other Locations

Scottsdale, AZ
Irvine, CA
Sunnyvale, CA
Thornton, CO
Indianapolis, IN
Overland Park, KS
Wichita, KS
Tewksbury, MA
Waltham, MA
Minneapolis, MN
Durham, NC
Independence, OH
Cranberry Township, PA
Austin, TX
Dallas, TX
Ogden, UT
Vienna, VA
Shanghai, China
Fukuoka, Japan
Nagoya, Japan
Osaka, Japan
Calgary, Canada
Vancouver, Canada
Lyon, France
Toulouse, France