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TheStreet Open House

Network Stocks: 2 Buys, 2 Sells

Stocks in this article: CSCO JNPR FFIV HPQ AAPL

I would be a seller here. The company is heading in the opposite direction and investors would be wise to stay away, at least until management can demonstrate that the company has a solid plan for the future. On the other hand, should the stock drop by another 20%, I'm willing to reconsider.

F5 (FFIV - Get Report)

F5's recent earnings miss made investors uncomfortable. Although 6% profit growth in a tough macro climate should be considered decent, it fell short of analysts' estimates of $1.18 per share on revenue of $366.1 million. Essentially, although F5 grew revenue and EPS by 15% and 6%, respectively, the company missed on both its top and bottom lines.

The good news is that it has some catalysts on the horizon, including a new product cycle that starts this year. F5 is still a solid company with an excellent management team. The company continues to log quarterly performances that speak to its sound business. But this continues to be a story about valuation.

With guidance having come down and revenue growing at a slower rate, the prudent play here would be to wait a couple of more quarters to see how IT spending rebounds. The risk in the stock is still too great.

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ - Get Report)

Beleaguered tech giant Hewlett-Packard is just too beaten up to think that things can get worse. Its challenge is to figure out ways to restore the confidence of Wall Street. Though not an easy task at this point, it's not impossible. To that end it has been working hard to prove that itdoes not need to be Apple in order to survive. But unfortunately, it has not worked.

At this point I'm not so sure if CEO, Meg Whitman is still the right person for the job. Though HP was a mess when she took over, it is tough to dismiss that the company's stock has lost 45% since she took over just a little over a year ago. While a lot of that can be attributed to the surge of mobile devices that has affected its PC business, HP has had plenty of opportunities to stop the bleeding.

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