Will This Coverage Initiation Help F5 Networks (FFIV) Stock Today?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- DA Davidson initiated coverage on F5 Networks  (FFIV) with a "buy" rating and set a $145 price target. The firm said the company has a dominant position in the application delivery controller market. 

The stock was up 1.04% to $110.30 in pre-market trading on Wednesday.

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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 multiple 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, notable return on equity, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results."

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

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 2.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 19.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the 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 1.42, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Communications Equipment industry and the overall market, F5 NETWORKS INC's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 61.74% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. 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 has improved earnings per share by 13.8% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. 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 ($5.29 versus $3.51).
  • 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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