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

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 down 0.9%. By the end of trading, F5 Networks fell $17.21 (-19%) to $73.21 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 12.4 million shares of F5 Networks exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.5 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $71.95-$75.79 after having opened the day at $73.33 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $90.42. Other companies within the Computer Software & Services industry that declined today were: Radware ( RDWR), down 22.6%, Authentidate Holding Corporation ( ADAT), down 10.7%, TSR ( TSRI), down 9.7%, and SolarWinds ( SWI), down 7.3%.
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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 $7.11 billion and is part of the technology sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 25.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 6.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 15 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 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.

On the positive front, Innovative Solutions and Support ( ISSC), up 27.2%, Helios and Matheson Information Technology ( HMNY), up 12.6%, Glu Mobile ( GLUU), up 6.4%, and Bridgeline Digital ( BLIN), up 5.6%, were all gainers within the computer software & services industry with 3D Systems Corporation ( DDD) 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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