F5 Networks (FFIV) Upgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research
F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday.
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.”
Other research analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Oppenheimer reissued a “hold” rating on shares of F5 Networks in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. Deutsche Bank reissued a “sell” rating and set a $90.00 target price (down previously from $100.00) on shares of F5 Networks in a research report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Piper Jaffray Companies reissued a “hold” rating and set a $121.00 target price on shares of F5 Networks in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. Drexel Hamilton reissued a “buy” rating and set a $160.00 target price on shares of F5 Networks in a research report on Monday, October 23rd. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a “hold” rating and set a $129.00 target price on shares of F5 Networks in a research report on Tuesday, October 10th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. F5 Networks currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $125.94.
F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 25th. The network technology company reported $2.44 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.20 by $0.24. F5 Networks had a net margin of 20.13% and a return on equity of 34.70%. The business 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 business earned $2.11 EPS. F5 Networks’s quarterly revenue was up 2.4% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts predict that F5 Networks will post 6.7 EPS for the current year.
F5 Networks announced that its board has authorized a share buyback plan on Wednesday, October 25th that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the network technology company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
In related news, CMO Benjamin Gibson sold 932 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $119.52, for a total value of $111,392.64. Following the sale, the chief marketing officer now owns 1,651 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $197,327.52. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, COO Edward Julian Eames sold 15,489 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $120.84, for a total transaction of $1,871,690.76. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 21,587 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,608,573.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 35,712 shares of company stock worth $4,316,345. 0.26% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Northcoast Asset Management lifted its position in shares of F5 Networks by 2,590.4% during the third quarter. Northcoast Asset Management now owns 309,983 shares of the network technology company’s stock worth $35,896,000 after purchasing an additional 298,461 shares in the last quarter. ING Groep lifted its position in shares of F5 Networks by 90.3% during the third quarter. ING Groep now owns 44,285 shares of the network technology company’s stock worth $5,128,000 after purchasing an additional 21,016 shares in the last quarter. Meag Munich Ergo Kapitalanlagegesellschaft acquired a new position in shares of F5 Networks during the third quarter worth approximately $3,429,000. Eagle Asset Management lifted its position in shares of F5 Networks by 43.9% during the third quarter. Eagle Asset Management now owns 57,360 shares of the network technology company’s stock worth $6,642,000 after purchasing an additional 17,508 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Pensionfund Sabic acquired a new position in shares of F5 Networks during the fourth quarter worth approximately $1,260,000. 95.19% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other 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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