F5 Networks (FFIV) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Hold

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Monday morning.

According to Zacks, “F5 Networks provides products and services to manage Internet traffic worldwide. Revenue growth seems to be steady, positively impacted by strength across all its business segments and higher software revenues. We believe that the company’s product refreshes will boost revenues, going forward. It is worth mentioning that the company’s GBB pricing strategy and its BIG-IQ platform remain tailwinds. Moreover, these initiatives are expected to expand the company’s total addressable market and result in client wins. Better execution and focus on enterprise and service providers have placed F5 Networks well in the application delivery controller market. Nevertheless, a volatile spending atmosphere and competition from peers remain concerns. The stock has underperformed the industry in the last one year.”

A number of other research analysts have also issued reports on the company. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a neutral rating and set a $146.00 price target on shares of F5 Networks in a research report on Wednesday, January 10th. Deutsche Bank reiterated a sell rating on shares of F5 Networks in a research report on Friday, January 5th. Bank of America upgraded F5 Networks from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $157.00 price target for the company in a research report on Friday, January 5th. BMO Capital Markets upgraded F5 Networks from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $122.00 price target for the company in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. Finally, Cowen reiterated a buy rating and set a $140.00 price target on shares of F5 Networks in a research report on Friday, October 27th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have assigned a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $132.16.

Shares of F5 Networks (NASDAQ FFIV) traded down $1.55 during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $138.00. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 568,200 shares, compared to its average volume of 590,992. F5 Networks has a one year low of $114.63 and a one year high of $149.50. The firm has a market cap of $8,820.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.20, a PEG ratio of 2.16 and a beta of 1.06.

F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The network technology company reported $2.44 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.20 by $0.24. F5 Networks had a return on equity of 34.70% and a net margin of 20.13%. The company had revenue of $538.00 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $534.71 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $2.11 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 2.4% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts expect that F5 Networks will post 6.74 EPS for the current fiscal year.

F5 Networks announced that its board has approved a share buyback program on Wednesday, October 25th that permits the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the network technology company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, COO Edward Julian Eames sold 15,489 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $120.84, for a total transaction of $1,871,690.76. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 21,587 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,608,573.08. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CMO Benjamin Gibson sold 932 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $119.52, for a total value of $111,392.64. Following the sale, the chief marketing officer now directly owns 1,651 shares in the company, valued at $197,327.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 35,712 shares of company stock worth $4,316,345 in the last three months. Company insiders own 0.26% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Investec Asset Management LTD raised its position in shares of F5 Networks by 33.5% during the second quarter. Investec Asset Management LTD now owns 53,012 shares of the network technology company’s stock worth $6,736,000 after purchasing an additional 13,306 shares during the period. Koch Industries Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of F5 Networks during the second quarter worth $832,000. Macquarie Group Ltd. raised its position in shares of F5 Networks by 21.1% during the third quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 6,900 shares of the network technology company’s stock worth $831,000 after purchasing an additional 1,200 shares during the period. California Public Employees Retirement System raised its position in shares of F5 Networks by 3.4% during the third quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 168,309 shares of the network technology company’s stock worth $20,291,000 after purchasing an additional 5,509 shares during the period. Finally, Laurion Capital Management LP acquired a new stake in shares of F5 Networks during the second quarter worth $2,115,000. 94.87% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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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