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F5 Networks Inc. (FFIV): Today's Featured Computer Software & Services Laggard

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model

F5 Networks ( FFIV) pushed the Computer Software & Services industry lower today making it today's featured Computer Software & Services laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.1%. By the end of trading, F5 Networks fell $4.05 (-4.9%) to $79.16 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 2,863,488 shares of F5 Networks exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,768,300 shares. The stock ranged in price between $77.22-$80.95 after having opened the day at $80.60 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $83.21. Other companies within the Computer Software & Services industry that declined today were: Webmedia Brands ( WEBM), down 9.0%, China Mobile Games and Entertainment Group ( CMGE), down 5.6%, 3D Systems Corporation ( DDD), down 5.3% and TSR ( TSRI), down 5.3%.

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F5 Networks, Inc. provides application delivery networking technology that secures and optimizes the delivery of network-based applications, and the security, performance, and availability of servers and other network resources. F5 Networks has a market cap of $6.6 billion and is part of the technology sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.5, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 13.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate F5 Networks a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 15 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates F5 Networks as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, premium valuation and weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, FalconStor Software ( FALC), down 24.6%, Wave Systems Corporation ( WAVX), down 21.1%, ChyronHego ( CHYR), down 14.8% and Agilysys ( AGYS), down 10.4% , were all gainers within the computer software & services industry with Sap ( SAP) being today's featured computer software & services industry leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the computer software & services industry could consider iShares S&P NA Tech Software Idx ( IGV) while those bearish on the computer software & services industry could consider ProShares Ultra Short Technology ( REW).

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