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 1.5%. By the end of trading, F5 Networks fell $7.16 (-7.1%) to $93.90 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 3.8 million shares of F5 Networks exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.4 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $93.79-$99.50 after having opened the day at $99.15 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $101.06. Other companies within the Technology sector that declined today were: Authentidate Holding Corporation ( ADAT), down 17.3%, Universal Display Corporation ( PANL), down 12.8%, CollabRx ( CLRX), down 11.5%, and Superconductor Technologies ( SCON), down 10.4%.
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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 $7.92 billion and is part of the computer software & services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 28.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 3.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate F5 Networks a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 14 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 growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

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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