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F5 Networks to Badly Miss First-Quarter Estimates

F5 Networks

(FFIV) - Get Free Report

said it will miss Wall Street's first-quarter earnings estimates by a wide margin, citing a slowdown in sales of Internet infrastructure equipment, and the company's shares took a pounding in morning trading.

The stock fell $2.56, or 18.7%, to $11.13 in recent



Analysts polled by

First Call/Thomson Financial

are calling for the company to earn 17 cents a share, but F5 said it expects to post a pretax loss of 48 cents to 50 cents a share, excluding restructuring charges, for the quarter.

The company, an Internet traffic and content management company based in Seattle, earned 12 cents a share in the year-ago period. F5 now expects revenue of $24 million to $26 million for the first quarter.