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

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 down 0.4%. By the end of trading, F5 Networks fell $1.51 (-1.5%) to $100.72 on light volume. Throughout the day, 923,114 shares of F5 Networks exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.1 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $99.79-$102.08 after having opened the day at $101.89 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $102.23. Other companies within the Computer Software & Services industry that declined today were: icad ( ICAD), down 10.2%, Cover-All Technologies ( COVR), down 10%, Retalix ( RTLX), down 8.7%, and TigerLogic Corporation ( TIGR), down 8.2%.

F5 Networks, Inc. provides application delivery networking technology that optimizes the delivery of network-based applications, and the security, performance, and availability of servers, data storage devices, and other network resources in the Americas, EMEA, Japan, and the Asia Pacific. F5 Networks has a market cap of $7.99 billion and is part of the technology sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 30.1, above the average computer software & services industry P/E ratio of 29.5 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 4.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 18 analysts that rate F5 Networks a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates F5 Networks as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, impressive record of earnings per share growth and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the positive front, Pervasive Software ( PVSW), up 23.2%, Netsol Technologies ( NTWK), up 13.3%, iSoftStone Holdings ( ISS), up 11.7%, and Sapiens International Corporation ( SPNS), up 7.4%, were all gainers within the computer software & services industry with IHS ( IHS) 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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