F5 Networks (FFIV) Cut to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research
F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to 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.”
FFIV has been the subject of several other research reports. Deutsche Bank reaffirmed a “sell” rating and set a $90.00 target price (down previously from $100.00) on shares of F5 Networks in a research note on Tuesday, October 3rd. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $120.00 target price on shares of F5 Networks in a research note on Thursday, October 26th. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $146.00 target price on shares of F5 Networks in a research note on Wednesday, January 10th. Cowen reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $140.00 target price on shares of F5 Networks in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets decreased their target price on F5 Networks from $124.00 to $122.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, October 26th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have given a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $130.61.
F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The network technology company reported $2.44 EPS for the quarter, topping the 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 business had revenue of $538.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $534.71 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $2.11 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 2.4% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts expect that F5 Networks will post 6.74 EPS for the current year.
F5 Networks declared that its board has authorized a share buyback plan on Wednesday, October 25th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the network technology company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.
In other news, EVP Edward Julian Eames sold 15,336 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $121.06, for a total value of $1,856,576.16. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 43,824 shares in the company, valued at $5,305,333.44. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CFO Andrew Reinland sold 2,241 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $121.03, for a total value of $271,228.23. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 15,369 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,860,110.07. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 35,712 shares of company stock worth $4,316,345 in the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 0.26% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Neuberger Berman Group LLC bought a new stake in F5 Networks during the second quarter worth $269,000. Franklin Resources Inc. lifted its holdings in F5 Networks by 9.4% during the second quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 22,740 shares of the network technology company’s stock worth $2,889,000 after acquiring an additional 1,962 shares during the period. Teachers Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in F5 Networks by 11.4% during the second quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 158,802 shares of the network technology company’s stock worth $20,177,000 after acquiring an additional 16,205 shares during the period. Icon Advisers Inc. Co. bought a new stake in F5 Networks during the second quarter worth $839,000. Finally, Amalgamated Bank lifted its holdings in F5 Networks by 50.7% during the second quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 7,608 shares of the network technology company’s stock worth $967,000 after acquiring an additional 2,560 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 94.87% of the company’s stock.
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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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