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Thursday, April 19, 2012 - Page updated at 06:00 p.m.

F5 Networks beats analyst forecasts as quarterly profit soars

By Drew DeSilver
Seattle Times business reporter

F5 Networks on Wednesday reported strong quarterly results that beat Wall Street estimates.

The Seattle company, whose products help companies efficiently and securely manage data traffic across complex computer networks, made $68.6 million, or 86 cents a diluted share, in its fiscal second quarter ended March 31.

That was up 23.5 percent from a profit of $55.6 million, or 68 cents a share, in the same quarter last year.

Sales rose 22.3 percent, to $339.6 million, driven by strong demand for the company's Viprion application-delivery controllers and its security products.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had estimated second-quarter sales at $335.3 million.

Excluding stock-option expenses and certain other items, F5 earned $1.12 a share, beating the Thomson Reuters average estimate of $1.07.

For its fiscal third quarter, F5 said it expected to earn 88 to 90 cents a diluted share on sales of $350 million to $355 million, in line with Wall Street estimates.

The company reported its results after the close of regular Nasdaq trading, in which it gained 46 cents to close at $124.21. In after-hours action, the shares gained 7 percent after management reaffirmed its full-year revenue target.

F5 employs more than 900 people in Seattle and about 200 more elsewhere in the state, out of a total workforce of 2,800.

It added 190 people to its payroll in the quarter, including 60 from its February acquisition of Traffix Systems.

Drew DeSilver: 206-464-3145 or ddesilver@seattletimes.com

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