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F5 Shares Get Hammered

Traffic management specialist F5 Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FFIV) last night announced third-quarter results, posting revenues of $73.1 million, up 65 percent on revenues of $44.2 million for the same period last year. This topped analyst estimates of $71.76 million (see F5 Announces Q3 Results).

Apparently there were some deep-pocketed investment types that weren't impressed with the results. Today F5's stock was hammered on the news, dropping 8.83 (17.75%) to 40.92.

Expectations must have been set sky-high, because F5 appeared to meet or beat analyst estimates. Earnings per share were 35 cents on net income of $14 million, up from 20 cents on net income of $7.4 million in the third quarter of 2004. This was above analyst estimates of 34 cents.

The stock may have been down on some less-than-bullish news about activity in the U.S. government and Japan, where revenue was softer than expected.

F5s revenues increased 78 percent year-over-year in North America and 69 percent in Europe, which helped offset a sluggish Japanese market. “It was a pretty slow quarter,” admits CEO John McAdam of the situation in Japan. “We expect it to go up as we approach [the Japanese fiscal] half year.”

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