F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday. The firm presently has a $159.00 target price on the network technology company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective suggests a potential upside of 12.12% from the company’s current price.

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 a number of other reports. KeyCorp reissued a “hold” rating on shares of F5 Networks in a report on Wednesday, October 11th. Nomura cut their price objective on F5 Networks from $120.00 to $115.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Monday, October 16th. Robert W. Baird reissued a “hold” rating and set a $125.00 price objective on shares of F5 Networks in a report on Wednesday, October 4th. Cowen reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $140.00 price target on shares of F5 Networks in a report on Friday, October 27th. Finally, Barclays cut their price target on F5 Networks from $116.00 to $111.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, October 26th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have issued a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. F5 Networks presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $130.89.

F5 Networks (NASDAQ FFIV) traded up $2.04 on Tuesday, reaching $141.81. 414,700 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 579,544. F5 Networks has a 1 year low of $114.63 and a 1 year high of $149.50. The firm has a market capitalization of $8,930.00, a P/E ratio of 21.78, a P/E/G ratio of 2.19 and a beta of 1.06.

F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The network technology company reported $2.44 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ 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 firm had revenue of $538.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $534.71 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $2.11 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 2.4% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts predict that F5 Networks will post 6.74 earnings per share for the current year.

F5 Networks declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback plan on Wednesday, October 25th that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the network technology company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, CFO Andrew Reinland sold 2,241 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $121.03, for a total transaction of $271,228.23. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 15,369 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,860,110.07. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO Francois Locoh-Donou sold 1,714 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $119.87, for a total value of $205,457.18. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 2,119 shares in the company, valued at approximately $254,004.53. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 35,712 shares of company stock valued at $4,316,345 over the last quarter. 0.26% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Advisor Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of F5 Networks by 1.1% during the second quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 13,304 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $1,683,000 after acquiring an additional 144 shares during the period. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. boosted its position in shares of 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 valued at $110,000 after buying an additional 161 shares during the last quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of F5 Networks by 0.9% during the second quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC now owns 18,592 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $2,394,000 after buying an additional 166 shares during the last quarter. Sentry Investment Management LLC boosted its position in shares of F5 Networks by 3.5% during the second quarter. Sentry Investment Management LLC now owns 5,425 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $689,000 after buying an additional 181 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Nordea Investment Management AB lifted its holdings in F5 Networks by 2.2% during the second quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 9,303 shares of the network technology company’s stock worth $1,182,000 after acquiring an additional 196 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 94.87% of the company’s stock.

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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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