F5 Networks, Inc. (FFIV) Downgraded to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:FFIV) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “F5 Networks provides products and services to manage Internet traffic worldwide. Shares of the company have underperformed the industry over the past one year. Cisco Systems is the most significant competitive threat to F5 Networks, given the dominance of the former in the overall networking market. In addition, Citrix, Juniper Networks, Checkpoint Systems, and Barracuda Networks also have strong technology platforms that could pose significant competitive threat on improved execution. Notably, F5 Networks continues to acquire a large number of companies. While this improves revenue opportunities, business mix and profitability, it also adds to integration risks.  Also, a volatile spending atmosphere remains concerns. Nonetheless, we believe that the company’s product refreshes will boost revenues, going forward. Moreover, these initiatives are expected to expand its total addressable market and result in client wins.”

Other analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Standpoint Research initiated coverage on F5 Networks in a research note on Monday, October 2nd. They issued an “accumulate” rating and a $160.00 target price for the company. Drexel Hamilton restated a “buy” rating and issued a $160.00 target price on shares of F5 Networks in a research note on Friday, July 21st. Morgan Stanley reduced their target price on F5 Networks from $130.00 to $120.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research note on Monday. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “hold” rating and issued a $130.00 target price on shares of F5 Networks in a research note on Friday, June 16th. Finally, Robert W. Baird restated a “hold” rating on shares of F5 Networks in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have given a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $128.94.

F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV) traded down 0.52% on Wednesday, hitting $115.80. The stock had a trading volume of 235,905 shares. The stock has a market capitalization of $7.36 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.27 and a beta of 1.14. F5 Networks has a 52 week low of $114.45 and a 52 week high of $149.50. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $118.02 and a 200-day moving average price of $126.17.

F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The network technology company reported $2.03 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.03. The company had revenue of $517.80 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $525.57 million. F5 Networks had a return on equity of 33.85% and a net margin of 18.96%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business posted $1.81 EPS. Equities research analysts anticipate that F5 Networks will post $8.17 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, EVP Ryan C. Kearny sold 836 shares of F5 Networks stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $120.59, for a total value of $100,813.24. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 2,148 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $259,027.32. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Benjamin Gibson sold 3,262 shares of F5 Networks stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $117.25, for a total transaction of $382,469.50. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 815 shares in the company, valued at approximately $95,558.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 22,312 shares of company stock worth $2,675,607 in the last ninety days. 0.26% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. raised its holdings in shares of F5 Networks by 0.4% in the 1st quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 2,071 shares of the network technology company’s stock worth $295,000 after purchasing an additional 9 shares during the period. Contravisory Investment Management Inc. raised its holdings in shares of F5 Networks by 0.8% in the 2nd quarter. Contravisory Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,846 shares of the network technology company’s stock worth $235,000 after purchasing an additional 14 shares during the period. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. raised its holdings in shares of F5 Networks by 1.5% in the 2nd quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 1,397 shares of the network technology company’s stock worth $178,000 after purchasing an additional 21 shares during the period. Intrust Bank NA raised its holdings in shares of F5 Networks by 1.1% in the 2nd quarter. Intrust Bank NA now owns 4,590 shares of the network technology company’s stock worth $584,000 after purchasing an additional 50 shares during the period. Finally, Van ECK Associates Corp raised its holdings in shares of F5 Networks by 6.0% in the 1st quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 1,153 shares of the network technology company’s stock worth $164,000 after purchasing an additional 65 shares during the period. 96.50% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About F5 Networks

F5 Networks, Inc is a developer and provider of software defined application services. The Company is engaged in the development, marketing and sale of application delivery networking products that optimize the security, performance and availability of network applications, servers and storage systems.

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