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Why F5 Networks Shares Couldn't Hold Onto Bigger Gains

By Alex Planes - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:38PM

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Is this meaningful? Or just another movement?

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 F5 Networks (FFIV -0.20%) had gained as much as 12% during early trading today, but have since slipped to a far less impressive (but still respectable) gain of 4% as of this writing. Investors seem to have cooled to the prospect of a bigger share buyback in light of what appears to be weak earnings on deck for the in-progress quarter.

So what: F5 had a decent earnings report for its fiscal second quarter: revenue of $350.2 million was right in line with analyst estimates, and earnings per share of $1.07 were $0.01 better than the consensus. The company also authorized another $200 million for share buybacks, which, at current prices, is about 3.5% of its market cap. However, guidance on both top and bottom lines was below expectations, as F5 now expects between $355 and $365 million in revenue, and between $1.06 and $1.09 in earnings per share, against a consensus of $366.9 million and $1.11, respectively.

Now what: F5 is still moving forward, but progress now seems to be a bit slower than previously expected. However, the company is still reasonably valued -- a 21 P/E after losing some of those early gains -- and is still making progress. If you're already invested, there's no reason why you shouldn't hang on for the ride.

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