Stock Market: Bear Of The Day: F5 (FFIV)

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Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) despite beating the number in the most recent earnings release.  Software stocks have had a very difficult this year as investors weigh the pros and cons of holding service releated stocks or commodity based names.  Let’s look at why this stock is a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) and in this Bear of the Day article.

Description

Seattle, WA-based F5 Networks Inc, founded in 1996, provides products and services to manage Internet traffic worldwide. Its application, delivery and networking products improve performance, availability and security of applications running on networks that use the Internet Protocol (IP).

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The company offers BIG-IP products to manage the IP traffic between network servers, clients and other devices. The company’s FirePass systems provide SSL VPN access to remote IP network users and any applications connected to those networks from any standard web browser on any device.

Earnings History

When I look at a stock, the first thing I do is look to see if the company is beating the number.  This tells me right away where the market’s expectations have been for the company and how management has communicated to the market.  A stock that consistently beats has management communicating expectations to Wall Street that can be achieved.  That is what you want to see.

In the case of FFIV, I see four straight beats of the  Zacks Consensus Estimate.   This alone does not make the stock a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and it doesn’t make it a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) either.

The Zacks Rank does care about the earnings history, but it is much more heavily influenced by the movement of earnings estimates.

Earnings Estimates

The Zacks Rank tells us which stocks are seeing earnings estimates move higher or in this case lower.  For AMBA I see annual estimates moving lower.

The Zacks Rank is more heavily influenced by the move in the annual numbers, and the movement is mixed for those numbers.

The current year 2022 consensus number has dropped from $10.59 to $9.53.

The next year has dropped from $12.80 to $11.305 over the last 60 days.

Negative movement in earnings estimates like that is why this stock is a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

It should be noted that a majority of stocks in the Zacks universe are seeing positive earnings estimate revisions.  That means that the stocks that are seeing small but negative earnings estimate revisions are falling to a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

Chart

F5, Inc. Price and Consensus


F5, Inc. Price and Consensus

F5, Inc. price-consensus-chart | F5, Inc. Quote

F5, Inc. Price and Consensus

F5, Inc. price-consensus-chart | F5, Inc. Quote


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