F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “F5 Networks is benefiting from strong software growth, backed by a solid uptick in public cloud and security offerings. Acceleration in ELA and Virtual Edition subscription software deals is a positive. The company’s BIG-IP Cloud Edition is also expected to be a meaningful growth driver. Moreover, these initiatives are expected to expand the company’s total addressable market and result in client wins. However, 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. Besides, softness within service providers vertical is a headwind. Shares underperformed the industry in the past year.”

Other analysts have also issued reports about the company. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $218.00 target price on shares of F5 Networks in a report on Thursday, December 20th. BidaskClub raised F5 Networks from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, December 20th. ValuEngine lowered F5 Networks from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, January 17th. William Blair reaffirmed a “market perform” rating on shares of F5 Networks in a report on Tuesday, March 12th. Finally, MKM Partners dropped their target price on F5 Networks to $175.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, January 24th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $169.05.

Shares of NASDAQ:FFIV traded up $2.49 during trading on Tuesday, hitting $153.63. The stock had a trading volume of 8,780 shares, compared to its average volume of 709,303. F5 Networks has a 12-month low of $138.67 and a 12-month high of $199.71. The stock has a market cap of $9.05 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.20, a PEG ratio of 1.96 and a beta of 0.94.

F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, January 23rd. The network technology company reported $2.70 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.53 by $0.17. The firm had revenue of $543.80 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $547.39 million. F5 Networks had a return on equity of 40.12% and a net margin of 22.74%. F5 Networks’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $2.26 earnings per share. Research analysts expect that F5 Networks will post 8.6 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, CEO Francois Locoh-Donou sold 4,036 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $159.50, for a total value of $643,742.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 29,639 shares in the company, valued at $4,727,420.50. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Chad Michael Whalen sold 150 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $166.75, for a total value of $25,012.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 436 shares in the company, valued at approximately $72,703. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 14,469 shares of company stock worth $2,339,402. 0.22% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in FFIV. Intercontinental Wealth Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in F5 Networks in the fourth quarter valued at $25,000. Lindbrook Capital LLC purchased a new stake in F5 Networks in the fourth quarter valued at $26,000. Rational Advisors LLC raised its position in F5 Networks by 2,009.1% in the fourth quarter. Rational Advisors LLC now owns 232 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $38,000 after purchasing an additional 221 shares during the period. Highwater Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in F5 Networks in the fourth quarter valued at $54,000. Finally, Arrow Financial Corp purchased a new stake in F5 Networks in the fourth quarter valued at $45,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 97.15% of the company’s stock.

F5 Networks Company Profile

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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Analyst Recommendations for F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV)

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