F5 Networks Inc. (FFIV): Today's Featured Technology 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 Technology sector lower today making it today's featured Technology laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.5%. By the end of trading, F5 Networks fell $1.86 (-1.7%) to $104.64 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1.9 million shares of F5 Networks exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.9 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $104.21-$107.26 after having opened the day at $106.41 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $106.50. Other companies within the Technology sector that declined today were: Deltathree ( DDDC), down 13%, LDK Solar Company ( LDK), down 12.8%, Nexxus Lighting ( NEXS), down 12.5%, and Alvarion ( ALVR), down 12.4%.
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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 $8.3 billion and is part of the computer software & services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 30.6, equal to the average computer software & services industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 0.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. 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 is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value.

On the positive front, Allscripts-Misys Healthcare Solutions ( MDRX), up 14.2%, Identive Group ( INVE), up 11.9%, Remark Media ( MARK), up 11.3%, and Dialogic ( DLGC), up 10%, were all gainers within the technology sector with Cerner Corporation ( CERN) being today's featured technology sector leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the technology sector could consider Technology Select Sector SPDR ( XLK) while those bearish on the technology sector could consider ProShares Ultra Short Technology ( REW).

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