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First Albany Downgrades F5 Networks to 'Neutral'

First Albany downgraded F5 Networks (FFIV) to neutral from buy.

On Friday the company forecast a $0.06-$0.08 loss vs. its $0.04-$0.06 loss target. Analyst Matt Barzowskas says the downgrade was due to a ramp-up in new business being pushed out. He notes he was positive on F5 because of its leading-edge technology in good space, and its ability to ramp up numerous relationships with original equipment manufacturers this year. Barzowskas now anticipates those relationships will not ramp as quickly as he had first anticipated.

Barzowskas cut his $0.08 fiscal 2002 (Sept.) EPS estimate to a $0.10 loss (on a preliminary basis), $0.63 fiscal 2003 EPS to $0.40 EPS. He also cut his fiscal 2002 revenue estimate to $117 million and reduced the fiscal 2003 estimate to $150 million.

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