F5 Networks' Shares Surged: What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of network optimization specialist F5 Networks (Nasdaq: FFIV  ) are bursting across a clear line today, gaining as much as 16% on extremely high volume.

So what: A very strong fourth-quarter report with 42% year-over-year earnings growth on 24% higher sales did the trick, leaving analysts' targets in the dust. As a juicy, red cherry on top, F5 also added $200 million to its existing $166 million share buyback program.

Now what: Loath to pick a favorite division, CEO John McAdam said that the beat came from solid results across the board and in every region. This may sound counterintuitive in a time of tight belts and budgets, but makes perfect sense when you realize that F5's products squeeze more performance out of your other network hardware. The more you spend on F5 gear, the smaller the check you have to write out to Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO  ) or Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR  ) .

It's really a beautiful strategy that should sound familiar if you're investing in Linux vendor Red Hat (NYSE: RHT  ) or virtual computing giant VMware (NYSE: VMW  ) . Learn more about "spend money to save money" IT tactics in this totally free video report.

Interested in more info about F5 Networks? Click here to add it to My Watchlist.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Cisco Systems. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Cisco Systems and VMware. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinion, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Check out Anders' holdings and bio, or follow him on Twitter and Google+. We have a disclosure policy.


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