F5 Networks (FFIV) Upgraded to Buy by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Friday morning. They currently have $185.00 target price on the network technology company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “F5 Networks is benefiting from increasing demand for cloud and security offerings. Deployment of solutions by customers on cloud and on-premise environment is expected to drive revenues going ahead. Partnership with major public cloud providers like AWS and Microsoft Azure is a tailwind. The company’s BIG-IP Cloud Edition is also expected to be a meaningful driver of software growth. Moreover, these initiatives are expected to expand the company’s total addressable market and result in client wins. The stock has outperformed the industry in the past year. Estimates have been stable ahead of the company's Q1 earnings release. The company has positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. Nevertheless, a volatile spending atmosphere and competition from peers remain concerns. Moreover, a substantial portion of sales is derived from outside the U.S., which exposes the company to exchange rate fluctuations.”

Several other research analysts have also recently weighed in on FFIV. Piper Jaffray Companies cut shares of F5 Networks from a neutral rating to an underweight rating and boosted their price target for the company from $168.00 to $180.00 in a research report on Monday, October 1st. BidaskClub cut shares of F5 Networks from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, October 4th. Standpoint Research raised shares of F5 Networks from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Friday, October 12th. BMO Capital Markets upped their target price on shares of F5 Networks from $188.00 to $195.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research report on Thursday, October 25th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group upped their target price on shares of F5 Networks from $216.00 to $218.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research report on Thursday, October 25th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $174.18.

Shares of FFIV stock traded down $1.87 on Friday, hitting $163.73. 885,698 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 774,263. The stock has a market cap of $10.07 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.47, a PEG ratio of 1.96 and a beta of 0.89. F5 Networks has a twelve month low of $133.14 and a twelve month high of $199.71.

F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 24th. The network technology company reported $2.90 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.63 by $0.27. The firm had revenue of $562.71 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $560.72 million. F5 Networks had a net margin of 20.99% and a return on equity of 40.04%. On average, analysts expect that F5 Networks will post 8.55 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, EVP Scot Frazier Rogers sold 13,557 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $177.91, for a total transaction of $2,411,925.87. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 22,141 shares in the company, valued at $3,939,105.31. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Sandra E. Bergeron sold 8,900 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $169.54, for a total transaction of $1,508,906.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 2,000 shares in the company, valued at $339,080. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 48,012 shares of company stock worth $8,473,168 over the last 90 days. Insiders own 0.30% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Highwater Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of F5 Networks during the fourth quarter worth approximately $54,000. Stone Ridge Asset Management LLC increased its stake in F5 Networks by 3.0% in the third quarter. Stone Ridge Asset Management LLC now owns 10,255 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $2,045,000 after purchasing an additional 300 shares during the last quarter. Moody Aldrich Partners LLC purchased a new position in F5 Networks in the second quarter valued at approximately $54,839,000. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. increased its stake in F5 Networks by 5.5% in the third quarter. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 6,270 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $1,250,000 after purchasing an additional 325 shares during the last quarter. Finally, First Hawaiian Bank increased its stake in F5 Networks by 4.2% in the fourth quarter. First Hawaiian Bank now owns 8,239 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $1,335,000 after purchasing an additional 329 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 97.41% of the company’s stock.

About F5 Networks

F5 Networks, Inc develops, markets, and sells application delivery networking products that optimize the security, performance, and availability of network applications, servers, and storage systems. The company's primary application delivery technology is Traffic Management Operating System (TMOS) that enable company's products to intercept, inspect, and act on the contents of traffic from virtually each type of Internet Protocol-enabled application.

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