F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV) was upgraded by research analysts at BMO Capital Markets from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report issued on Thursday, January 4th, MarketBeat Ratings reports. The brokerage currently has a $122.00 price target on the network technology company’s stock. BMO Capital Markets’ price objective would suggest a potential downside of 12.81% from the company’s previous close.

Other equities research analysts have also issued reports about the company. Morgan Stanley decreased their target price on F5 Networks from $130.00 to $120.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, October 9th. Drexel Hamilton reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $160.00 target price on shares of F5 Networks in a research report on Monday, October 23rd. Nomura decreased their target price on F5 Networks from $120.00 to $115.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, October 16th. Standpoint Research assumed coverage on F5 Networks in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. They set an “accumulate” rating and a $160.00 target price for the company. Finally, Oppenheimer reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of F5 Networks in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have given a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. F5 Networks presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $140.05.

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Shares of F5 Networks (FFIV) traded up $1.04 during trading hours on Thursday, hitting $139.93. The stock had a trading volume of 198,934 shares, compared to its average volume of 774,096. F5 Networks has a one year low of $114.63 and a one year high of $149.50. The firm has a market capitalization of $8,652.99, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.27, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.06 and a beta of 1.06.

F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, January 24th. The network technology company reported $2.26 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.05 by $0.21. The company had revenue of $523.20 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $521.07 million. F5 Networks had a return on equity of 35.98% and a net margin of 19.79%. F5 Networks’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.98 earnings per share. sell-side analysts anticipate that F5 Networks will post 6.77 EPS for the current fiscal year.

F5 Networks declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback plan on Wednesday, October 25th that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the network technology company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, CEO Francois Locoh-Donou sold 1,714 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $119.87, for a total transaction of $205,457.18. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 2,119 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $254,004.53. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, COO Edward Julian Eames sold 15,489 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $120.84, for a total value of $1,871,690.76. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 21,587 shares in the company, valued at $2,608,573.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 35,712 shares of company stock worth $4,316,345. 0.26% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in FFIV. Koch Industries Inc. purchased a new position in F5 Networks in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $832,000. Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its stake in F5 Networks by 424.5% in the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 748,290 shares of the network technology company’s stock worth $95,081,000 after purchasing an additional 605,629 shares during the period. APG Asset Management N.V. increased its stake in F5 Networks by 65.7% in the 3rd quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 1,116,349 shares of the network technology company’s stock worth $134,587,000 after purchasing an additional 442,600 shares during the period. FMR LLC increased its stake in F5 Networks by 30.7% in the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 1,185,212 shares of the network technology company’s stock worth $150,592,000 after purchasing an additional 278,682 shares during the period. Finally, Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. increased its stake in F5 Networks by 24.4% in the 3rd quarter. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. now owns 1,401,720 shares of the network technology company’s stock worth $168,991,000 after purchasing an additional 274,997 shares during the period. 94.94% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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.

Analyst Recommendations for F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV)

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