Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. downgraded shares of F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:FFIV) from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a report issued on Thursday, MarketBeat.com reports. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. currently has $120.00 price objective on the network technology company’s stock, down from their prior price objective of $145.00.

“Coupling this with persistent macro (EMEA), challenges leave us in search of fundamental catalysts to drive F5’s shares higher through earnings upside or multiple expansion,” Oppenheimer said. That said, the firm sees the downside being limited by aggressive share repurchases, potential dividends, and Operating expenditure controls/ management.The firm revised its estimates, to reflect the second quarter results and the guidance.Trio Of Concerns: Product Growth, Leverage, Lack Of Catalysts Wells Fargo analyst Jess Lubert attributed his downgrade to his view that product growth is unlikely to accelerate anytime soon, expecting it to decline over the next three quarters. While stating that F5 Network’s stock performance is highly correlated to the trend in its product growth, the analyst said stock performance wouldn’t improve if product growth fails to kick off.Additionally, Lubert believes the company might leverage its balance sheet to fund M&A, adding risk to the model.Thirdly, the analyst sees a lack of catalysts required to reaccelerate growth or rerate the company’s shares.”if F5’s customers increasingly shift assets to the public cloud or purchase SaaS rather than on premise software offerings, we think there is likely less of a need for F5’s application delivery services, which may impact company growth over the next few years,,” Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc.’s analyst wrote.

A number of other analysts have also recently commented on FFIV. Piper Jaffray Companies cut their price target on shares of F5 Networks to $121.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday. BidaskClub cut shares of F5 Networks from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 25th. Drexel Hamilton reissued a buy rating and set a $160.00 price objective on shares of F5 Networks in a research report on Friday, July 21st. Citigroup Inc. cut shares of F5 Networks to a market perform rating in a research report on Thursday. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company cut shares of F5 Networks from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and cut their price objective for the stock from $145.00 to $120.00 in a research report on Thursday. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. F5 Networks currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $132.00.

F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV) opened at 121.72 on Thursday. The company has a market capitalization of $7.73 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.22 and a beta of 1.17. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $127.78 and a 200 day moving average price of $135.13. F5 Networks has a 52-week low of $114.45 and a 52-week high of $149.50.

F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 26th. The network technology company reported $2.03 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.03. The business had revenue of $517.80 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $525.57 million. F5 Networks had a return on equity of 33.85% and a net margin of 18.96%. F5 Networks’s quarterly revenue was up 4.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.81 earnings per share. Analysts anticipate that F5 Networks will post $8.18 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other F5 Networks news, EVP John D. Dilullo sold 3,420 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $127.62, for a total value of $436,460.40. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 4,926 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $628,656.12. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CFO Andrew Reinland sold 6,235 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $127.40, for a total transaction of $794,339.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 18,602 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,369,894.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 19,655 shares of company stock valued at $2,532,499. Insiders own 0.26% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. American Beacon Advisors Inc. purchased a new position in shares of F5 Networks during the first quarter valued at approximately $153,000. Van ECK Associates Corp increased its position in shares of F5 Networks by 6.0% in the first quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 1,153 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $164,000 after buying an additional 65 shares during the last quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. increased its position in shares of F5 Networks by 5.1% in the first quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 1,376 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $196,000 after buying an additional 67 shares during the last quarter. First Bank & Trust increased its position in shares of F5 Networks by 0.3% in the first quarter. First Bank & Trust now owns 1,630 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $232,000 after buying an additional 5 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Contravisory Investment Management Inc. increased its position in shares of F5 Networks by 0.8% in the second quarter. Contravisory Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,846 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $235,000 after buying an additional 14 shares during the last quarter. 94.75% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV)

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