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Just Noise at NetApp?

Last week, Barron’s reporter Eric Savitz was mystified by the sudden stock price surge in storage and data management solutions provider NetApp (NTAP). Apparently there have been persistent market rumors that Cisco (CSCO) or IBM (IBM) might make a play for the Company. Cowen & Co. analyst Louis Miscioscia addressed the rumors, saying that an acquisition of the company by IBM is possible, but unlikely. Meanwhile, RBC analyst Mark Sue said a Cisco deal for NetApp was —off the table.

However, clues from the SEC filings are telling a different story. Attached to the 10-Q NetApp filed on Wednesday were amended change of control severance agreements for CEO Daniel Warmenhoven and other unnamed executives that were effective on June 19, 2008. To be fair, there was an earlier 8-K that disclosed the outcome of a Compensation Committee hearing, including a summary of the new agreements, so it’s possible that the change in control agreements were simply routine. Nonetheless, we’ll be monitoring any future noise from NetApp.

Image source: Vic’s Web Log