Three weeks ago, fellow Fool Eric Jhonsa speculated that F5 Networks (Nasdaq: FFIV) might stumble in the second quarter. A sullen revenue outlook indicated that Citrix Systems (Nasdaq: CTXS) and Radware (Nasdaq: RDWR) might be stealing some of F5's core business, and that large enterprises could be taking their leaden feet off the cloud-computing pedal for a while.

Well, the numbers are in, and they don't tell that gloomy story at all. Non-GAAP earnings jumped 57% year over year on 35% higher revenue, in line with the Street's sales target, and $0.03 above the analyst bar on the bottom line. F5 does significant business in Japan, yet still delivered impressive numbers in a disaster-stricken quarter.                                             

In another sign of grippy business traction, service revenues outpaced product growth. F5 has built enough of a customer list to sign and re-sign support contracts in an exponential fashion. That's the very core of low-cost software business models such as Citrix and Red Hat (NYSE: RHT), but F5 is doing so with hardware.

F5 isn't the fastest-growing networking company on the market -- that honor goes to optical gear builder CIENA (Nasdaq: CIEN) on the revenue side, and efficiency expert Riverbed (Nasdaq: RVBD) in terms of profits. But F5 is unmatched when it comes to fat margins and efficient operations, and it's deserved every ounce of share price growth and premium valuation so far.

Eric concluded that F5 might take a while to return to old highs in the $140 area; the last three months have been brutal to this stock. This report brought F5 nearly 9% closer to that level, not counting an after-hours spike to 13.4% gains.

F5 is all about using your networking resources to their maximum potential, a value-added idea that should carry the business over plenty of speed bumps. I'd be surprised if the stock didn't get back to fresh 52-week highs by the third-quarter report, repairing the damage this stock has done to my All-Star CAPS status.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. Riverbed Technology is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.