F5 surprises Wall Street with strong second-quarter results after Wednesday's closing bell.



SEATTLE (TheStreet) -- F5 Networks(:FFIV) shrugged off concerns about the global economy after market close on Wednesday, posting strong second-quarter results and offering robust guidance.

The Cisco(:CSCO) and Juniper(:JNPR) rival reported revenue of $322.4 million, up from $268.9 million in the prior year's quarter, and comfortably above Wall Street's forecast of $319.2 million.

F5's numbers serve as a start contrast to Juniper, which cut its fourth-quarter earnings forecast earlier this month, citing weakness in the U.S. service provider market. Cisco reports its fiscal second-quarter results on Feb.8.

Excluding items, F5 earned $1.03 a share on net income of $82.2 million, compared to 88 cents a share and net income of $72.2 million in the same period last year. Analysts were looking for earnings of $1.01 a share.

F5 attributed its numbers to a solid performance on both sides of the Pacific. "Strong sales in the Asia-Pacific region, Japan and particularly North America offset the seasonal slowdown that typically characterizes the first quarter of a new fiscal year," explained John McAdam, the F5 CEO, in a statement. "We are also pleased that sales in the EMEA region exceeded our expectations."

For the second quarter, F5 expects revenue between $332 million and $337 million, north of analysts' forecast of $330.51 million. Excluding items, the networking specialist is looking for earnings between $1.05 a share and $1.07 a share. Wall Street had forecast earnings of $1.05 a share.

Investors responded positively to F5's numbers, pushing the company's stock up 7% to $116.05 in extended trading.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

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