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F5 Networks, Inc. (FFIV - Snapshot Report) is set to report first-quarter 2014 results on Jan 22. Last quarter, the company posted earnings in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Let us see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Growth Factors This Past Quarter

Amid macro concerns and tight federal budget, F5 Networks remains positive on the company’s upcoming product launches and growing demand for its security solutions. The company’s product refreshes are expected to boost revenues, going forward. Moreover, these initiatives are expected to expand the company’s TAM and result in client wins.

F5 also mentioned that it will continue investing in technology and headcount to keep pace with the changing market trends. Better execution and focus on enterprise and service providers have placed F5 Networks well in the application delivery controller market. The company is also keen on expanding its cloud exposure. Nevertheless, the volatile spending atmosphere and stiff competition from Juniper Networks Inc. (JNPR - Analyst Report) and Brocade remain concerns.

Earnings Whispers?

Our proven model does not conclusively show that F5 Networks will beat earnings this quarter. That is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1, 2 or 3 for this to happen. That is not the case here as you will see below.

Zacks ESP: Both the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate stand at 91 cents. Hence, the difference is 0.00%.

Zacks Rank #2 (Buy): F5 Networks’ Zacks Rank when combined with a 0.00% ESP makes surprise prediction difficult.

We caution against stocks with Zacks Ranks #4 and 5 (Sell-rated stocks) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions momentum.

Other Stocks to Consider

Here are some other companies you may want to consider as our model shows that they have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:

Western Digital Corp (WDC - Analyst Report), with Earnings ESP of +0.96% and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Seagate Technology (STX - Analyst Report), with Earnings ESP of +1.44% and a Zacks Rank #1.

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