FFIV Hits Record Highs on Upbeat Outlook, Volterra Acquisition

In response, no fewer than eight analysts raised their price targets

Assistant Editor
Jan 8, 2021 at 10:29 AM
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The shares of F5 Networks Inc (NASDAQ:FFIV) are up 8.4% at $195.23 at last check, earlier hitting an all-time high of $200.57, after the company released its upbeat fiscal full-year and first-quarter guidance and agreed to acquire Volterra for $440 million in cash and around $60 million in deferred consideration and assumed compensation to founders and employees. The deal will create the first 2.0 platform for enterprises and service providers. To follow, no fewer than eight analysts raised their price targets of F5 stock, with the highest from Needham to $235 from $210. 

Today's pop helped FFIV surpass its September 2018 record high of $199.71. Steadily rising since a Nov. 9 bull gap with help from the 20-day moving average, the equity is up 53.4% in the last three months. 

Circling back to analysts, the brokerages were split on F5 stock coming into today, with half of the 14 in calling it a "buy" or better, and the remaining seven recommending a tepid "hold." Meanwhile, the 12-month consensus price target of $193.87 is now a 2.2% discount to current levels, which indicates there's room for additional upgrades.

Meanwhile, though short interest is down 17.9% during the last two reporting periods, the 3.1 million shares sold short still account for 5.2% of the stock's available float. In other words, it would take four days to buy back these bearish bets at FFIV's average pace of trading. 

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