Which Institutional Investors Have Major Stakes in FFIV?

FFIV (F5 Networks, Inc.) is taking a beating today, as the company is currently trading down about 30 points at $108.70. This works out to a total percentage loss of nearly 22% on the day.

FFIV was one of the biggest winners of 2011 on the Nasdaq, trading from a level of around $50 to start the year all the way up to $143+ in December of 2010. At the beginning of 2009, FFIV was trading for around $23 per share - the two-year run for FFIV has been quite something to behold.

F5 Networks 5 Day Chart - 20th January 2011The steady upwards climb came to at least a temporary stop earlier today when the stock gapped down approximately 22%. The reason? FFIV recently revealed their Q1 earnings numbers which ended up coming in "slightly below the high end of F5's own guidance". FFIV has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the continued shift towards "cloud computing", and the company's business has soared as a result.

Some investors believe that the downturn today is simply an overreaction and represents a great opportunity to purchase more shares of FFIV, while others believe that the company will be hard-pressed to recapture its momentum and that the "FFIV play" is now over. It can be very hard for a company to recapture the imagination of investors after suffering a 20%+ one-day downturn, but it's not unheard of.


In the fourth quarter of 2010, FFIV increased by about 30% in value, starting the quarter at around $102 and trading as high as $140 before closing out the year at $130.16. You can be sure that a number of institutional investors added to their existing positions in FFIV and even opened up new positions in the company during the fourth quarter.

According to Yahoo.com, a total of 357 institutional investors were holding shares in FFIV as of September 30th, 2010. I would expect to hear that this number rose when the December 31st, 2010 holdings are revealed in mid-February.

Of the 97 major institutional investors that we track in our database, 17 held positions in FFIV as of the end of the third quarter. The companies with positions of at least a million shares as of the end of Q3 were:

FMR LLC - 6,416,430 shares
Coatue Management LLC - 3,183,660 shares
Calamos Advisors LLC - 1,232,191 shares

Janus Capital Management LLC (935,300 shares) also held a sizable stake in the company at the end of the third quarter.

Many of these companies have done extremely well with their FFIV positions, even given today's selloff. The three important things to remember though are:

1) A number of these firms may have added to their positions in the fourth quarter, increasing their average position price

2) A number of firms likely initiated new positions in FFIV during the fourth quarter, meaning that they are likely looking at steep losses (at least for the short-term)

3) The drop in FFIV is going to have a negative impact on the 2011 results of these firms, assuming that FFIV isn't able to rally back. Since the start of the year, those firms holding FFIV are down about 17%. Assuming that they didn't add to their position during the fourth quarter, FMR LLC, for instance, has seen the value of their FFIV stake drop over $140 million during the first three weeks of 2011.


It will be interesting to see which firms decided to jump on the FFIV bandwagon during the fourth quarter when new 13F-HR filings are released in mid-February.

Source: FFIV Quote Page