U.S. Markets open in 59 mins

F5 Networks Stock Has Ugliest Day Since January 2011

The Exchange

F5 Networks (FFIV) was having one of the worst sessions in its history Friday, plunging 19% after its second-quarter estimates irked investors by coming in well short of forecasts.

The Seattle-based networking technology company said after the previous close that revenue for the fiscal second quarter would be $350.2 million, below its expectation of $370 million to $380 million. Earnings, excluding items, likely will be $1.06 to $1.07 a share, under F5's guidance of $1.21 to $1.24 a share.

F5 Five-Day Stock Chart

On average, analysts had been looking for an adjusted profit of $1.23 a share and revenue of $375.9 million, according to FactSet.

Shares of F5 sold off in response, dropping 19.2% to $73.10 in recent action. Volume was approaching seven times that of a normal trading day. At its nadir for the session, the stock plunged 20.4% to $71.95, a 52-week low. The last time it fell further in a day was January 2011.

"From a market perspective, Telco bookings were down sharply on both a sequential and year-over-year basis. U.S. Federal sales were also down significantly from the second quarter a year ago," the company said in a press release.

North American sluggishness drove the bulk of the revenue miss, while Europe, the Middle East and Africa added to the drag. Sales in Japan and the Asia-Pacific region were generally in line with projections, F5 said.

F5 went public in mid-1999, toward the end of the dot-com stock boom. Since then, it's had only 12 days in which its stock fell more than this one, FactSet data show. The steepest single-session drop, on a percentage basis, was April 26, 2000, when it sank 24.8%.