Growing Through Challenges? – F5 Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV)


BlackRock Fund Advisors recently announced the acquisition of new stake in F5 Networks Inc. (NASDAQ:FFIV). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Technology company by 0.30% to 3.42 million shares with purchase of 10315.0 shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 5.61% valued currently at $495.05 million. In addition, SSgA Funds Management, Inc. raised its holdings by 69742.0 to 3.13 million shares. And American Century Investment Manag… has lifted its position by 263.72% or 1.46 million shares – to 2.02 million shares.

With over 0.53 million F5 Networks Inc. (FFIV) shares trading Thursday and a closing price of $138.52 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $72.75 million. The shares have shown a positive weekly performance of 2.71% and its price on 07/02/20 gained nearly 0.88%. Currently, there are 60.87M common shares owned by the public and among those 60.70M shares have been available to trade.

An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: Several analysts who have offered their price forecasts for FFIV have a consensus price objective of $149.93. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $170.00 and a low of $122.00 should the stock experience a downside. Incidentally, analysts’ outlook for the F5 Networks Inc. stock is 2.70 for the next 12 months. The average price target is 7.83% above its last price level and an upside to the estimated low will see the stock lose -13.54% over that period. But an upside of 18.52% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while mean target price for the stock is $151.00.

Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 170 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 69 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 171,241 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 101 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 92,101 shares.

The top 3 mutual fund holders in F5 Networks Inc. are Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, Vanguard Mid Cap Index Fund, and Vanguard 500 Index Fund. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index owns 1.75 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $254.0 million. The company sold 6520.0 shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 2.88% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard Mid Cap Index Fund bought 9526.0 shares to see its total holdings expand to 1.59 million shares valued at over $230.02 million and representing 2.61% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard 500 Index Fund sold 2570.0 shares to bring its total holdings to over 1.24 million shares at a value of $179.78 million. Vanguard 500 Index Fund now owns shares totaling to 2.04% of the shares outstanding.

Shares of F5 Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV) opened at $138.63, up $1.32 from a prior closing price of $137.31. However, the script later closed the day at $138.52, up 0.88%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of 2.71% and 29.31% over the past three months. FFIV shares are trading -0.81% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance down to -6.28% lower. It has a 12-month low price of $79.78 and touched a high of $153.99 over the same period. Currently, 0.53 million shares have been traded, compared to an average intraday trading volume of 894.92K shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by -0.94%, -0.67%, and 4.12% respectively.

Institutional ownership of F5 Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV) shares accounts for 96.80% of the company’s 60.87M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 45.06%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 51.12% and 1.08% respectively.

It has a market capitalization of $8.36B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 1.08. The stock’s trailing 12-month PE ratio is 24.67, while the earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at $5.61. The company has a PEG of 7.48 and a Quick Ratio of 1.10 with the debt-to-equity ratio at 0.20. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 2.95% over the week and 2.91% over the month.

Analysts forecast that F5 Networks Inc. (FFIV) will achieve an EPS of $2.03 for the current quarter, $2.26 for the next quarter and $9.74 for 2021. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is $1.9 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $2.09. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $2.52 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to decrease by -7.60%, and 7.27% over the next financial year. EPS should shrink at an annualized rate of 3.30% over the next five years, compared to 11.60% over the past 5-year period.

If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 20 brokerage firm advisors rate F5 Networks Inc. (FFIV) as a “Moderate Buy” at a consensus score of 2.70. Specifically, 6 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 12 of the 20 advise that investors “hold,” and 0 rated it as a “Sell.”

Looking at the support for the FFIV, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. Goldman stated their Neutral rating for the stock in a research note on April 28, 2020, with the firm’s price target at $102-$151. Needham coverage for the F5 Networks Inc. (FFIV) stock in a research note released on April 06, 2020 offered a Buy rating with a price target of $140. Needham was of a view on February 10, 2020 that the stock is Buy, while BofA/Merrill gave the stock Underperform rating on December 05, 2019 . Evercore ISI on their part issued In-line rating on September 11, 2019.


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