What: Shares of NetApp (NTAP -1.43%) rose fell 13.4% in April 2016, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The company didn't do much to deserve this close shave, as most of the negative mojo came from industry rumblings and analyst actions.
So what: Mid-month, Seagate Technology (STX) lowered its quarterly guidance because of weak demand from every computing market. This included softness in Seagate's enterprise storage business, which overlaps with NetApp's interests. To be clear, Seagate is both a major supplier and an occasional business rival to NetApp. The head-to-head competition stems from Seagate's buyout of storage enclosures builder Xyratex.
Seagate's news lowered the hard drive maker's share prices by 20% overnight. Affected by that event but also separated from it, NetApp took a 6% sympathy dive over the next two days.
The stock chart continued to sag as analysts issued negative research notes on NetApp. And at the end of April, a slew of NetApp's peers in the computer technology segment reported final results -- most of them deeply negative in nature. The company isn't slated to publish its own fourth-quarter report until May 25, so we don't have any firm data on NetApp's spring quarter yet. But investors read the tea leaves among other reports, and NetApp shares got another 4.4% haircut across the last two trading days of the month.
Now what: The data storage market is not a calm place right now. Some of NetApp's closest rivals are going private. Others were recently acquired by hard-drive manufacturers, or split apart under heavy pressure from activist shareholders.
But NetApp stands alone in these stormy seas. The company should probably be looking for a buyout exit of its own, but there have been no such rumors yet. Meanwhile, the company's financial performance is suffering on all fronts, and there's no obvious turnaround in sight.
I don't see any reason to own this stock today, unless you're betting on a generous buyout offer that may never come. Don't be surprised if NetApp shows up in more of these monthly price-drop reviews.