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Why Is F5 Networks (FFIV) Down 8.2% Since the Last Earnings Report?

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About a month has gone by since the last earnings report for F5 Networks, Inc. (FFIV - Free Report) . Shares have lost about 8.2% in that time frame, underperforming the market.

Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to the stock's next earnings release, or is it due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.

F5 Networks Q3 Earnings In Line; Revenues Miss Estimates

F5 Networks reported third-quarter fiscal 2017 non-GAAP earnings per share of $2.03, which was in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. However, earnings improved from $1.81 per share reported in the year-ago quarter.

Revenues

Although F5 Networks’ revenues grew 4.3% year over year to $517.8 million, it lagged the management guided range of $520–$530 million. Reported revenues also missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $525 million.

Revenues were boosted by 6.6% increase in service revenues and 1.6% increase in Product revenues on a year-over-year basis.

Notably, F5 Networks’ “Good, Better, Best” (GBB) pricing strategies and higher competencies of BIG-IQ platform also helped in streamlining product portfolio and driving year-over-year revenue growth.

Geographically, on a year-over-year basis, revenues from the Americas were up 6% and contributed 57% to total revenue. EMEA increased 4% and accounted for 23% of total revenue. Asia-Pacific was up 3% on a year-over-year basis, representing 15% of total revenue while Japan revenues decreased 8% and represented 4% of total revenue.

By verticals, Enterprise, Service providers and Government (including 6% from the U.S. federal) accounted for 65%, 20% and 14% of total revenue, respectively.

The company’s distributors Ingram Micro, Tech Data (TECD - Research Report) and Westcon accounted for 16.8%, 12.2% and 19.1%, of total revenue, respectively.

Operating Results

F5 Networks’ non-GAAP gross profit (excluding amortization of intangible assets, other one-time items and stock-based compensation) was up 3.8% on a year-over-year basis and came in at $435.5 million. Non-GAAP gross margin decreased slightly during the quarter and came in at 84.1%, primarily due to higher cost of sales.

The company’s non-GAAP operating margin (excluding amortization of intangible assets, other one-time items and stock-based compensation) decreased 55 basis points (bps) from the year-ago quarter to 35.8%, primarily due to higher non-GAAP operating expenses as a percentage of revenues. Operating expenses, as a percentage of revenues, increased 17 bps on a year-over-year basis.

The company’s non-GAAP net income (excluding amortization of intangible assets, other one-time items and stock-based compensation) came in at approximately $130.8 million compared with $121.7 million reported in the year-ago quarter. On a GAAP basis, net income came in at $97.7 million compared with $91.8 million reported in the year-ago period.

Balance Sheet & Cash Flow

F5 Networks exited the quarter with cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of approximately $1.014 billion. Receivables were $295.1 million at the end of the quarter.

The company’s balance sheet does not have any long-term debt. It reported cash flow from operations of $163 million during the quarter. During the quarter, F5 Networks repurchased approximately 1.2 million shares for $150 million.

Guidance

For fourth-quarter fiscal 2017, F5 Networks expects revenues in the range of $530–$540 million. Non-GAAP gross margin is anticipated to be roughly 84.5%. The company expects non-GAAP earnings for fourth-quarter fiscal 2017 in the range of $2.20–$2.23 per share. Non-GAAP effective tax rate is expected to be 31%.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

Analysts were quiet during the past month as none of them issued any earnings estimate revisions.

F5 Networks, Inc. Price and Consensus

 

F5 Networks, Inc. Price and Consensus | F5 Networks, Inc. Quote

VGM Scores

At this time, the stock has a great Growth Score of B, while its Momentum lagged a lot with an F. The stock was allocated a grade of B on the value side, putting it in the second quintile for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of B. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.

Based on our scores, the stock is equally suitable for growth and value investors.

Outlook

The stock has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). We are expecting a below average return from the stock in the next few months.




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