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

FFIV has been the topic of several other research reports. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “sell” rating and issued a $90.00 price target (down previously from $100.00) on shares of F5 Networks in a research note on Tuesday, October 3rd. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $130.00 price target on shares of F5 Networks in a research note on Friday, June 16th. Piper Jaffray Companies downgraded F5 Networks from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and dropped their price target for the company from $144.00 to $136.00 in a research note on Friday, July 14th. Needham & Company LLC reissued a “hold” rating on shares of F5 Networks in a research note on Tuesday, September 12th. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded F5 Networks from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 25th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have issued a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $128.94.

Shares of F5 Networks (NASDAQ FFIV) traded down 0.35% on Wednesday, hitting $115.99. The stock had a trading volume of 893,404 shares. F5 Networks has a one year low of $114.45 and a one year high of $149.50. The company has a market capitalization of $7.37 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.26 and a beta of 1.14. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $117.99 and a 200 day moving average price of $126.09.

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

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In other F5 Networks news, COO Edward Julian Eames sold 4,378 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $120.63, for a total transaction of $528,118.14. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 35,088 shares in the company, valued at $4,232,665.44. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Benjamin Gibson sold 3,262 shares of the firm’s 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 sale, the executive vice president now owns 815 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $95,558.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 22,312 shares of company stock valued at $2,675,607 in the last quarter. 0.26% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of FFIV. Acrospire Investment Management LLC lifted its position in F5 Networks by 100.0% during the second quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 800 shares of the network technology company’s stock worth $102,000 after acquiring an additional 400 shares during the last quarter. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. lifted its position in F5 Networks by 23.0% during the second quarter. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. now owns 860 shares of the network technology company’s stock worth $110,000 after acquiring an additional 161 shares during the last quarter. IFP Advisors Inc lifted its position in F5 Networks by 65.6% during the second quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 959 shares of the network technology company’s stock worth $122,000 after acquiring an additional 380 shares during the last quarter. American Beacon Advisors Inc. acquired a new stake in F5 Networks during the first quarter worth approximately $153,000. Finally, Van ECK Associates Corp lifted its position in F5 Networks by 6.0% during the first quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 1,153 shares of the network technology company’s stock worth $164,000 after acquiring an additional 65 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 96.50% of the company’s stock.

F5 Networks Company Profile

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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Analyst Recommendations for F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV)

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