Will This Analyst Upgrade Help F5 Networks (FFIV) Stock Today? (Update)

Update (9:43 a.m.): Updated with Monday market open information.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stifel Nicolaus upgraded F5 Networks  (FFIV) to "buy" from "hold" and set a $120 price target. The firm noted checks suggest higher near-term growth.

The stock was up 3.11% to $106.21 at 9:42 a.m. on Monday.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates F5 NETWORKS INC as a "buy" with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate F5 NETWORKS INC (FFIV) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. 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, solid stock price performance, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 1.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.2%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • FFIV has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.30, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, FFIV's share price has jumped by 42.07%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Turning to the future, naturally, any stock can fall in a major bear market. However, in almost any other environment, the stock should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed nice gains in the past year.
  • F5 NETWORKS INC' earnings per share from the most recent quarter came in slightly below the year earlier quarter. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, F5 NETWORKS INC increased its bottom line by earning $3.51 versus $3.45 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.23 versus $3.51).
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $158.93 million or 9.75% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, F5 NETWORKS INC's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 19.80%.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: FFIV Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

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