Checking up on shares of F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:FFIV), we have noted that the average price target is currently 171.25. Individual sell-side analysts often provide their best educated projections on where a particular stock will be moving in the future. Because specific targets can widely vary, investors may choose to keep track of the average target combining all estimates taken into consideration. Although covering analysts may study the stock extensively, investors may need to conduct their own examination to see whether they believe that the analyst is correct with the projection. Sometimes analysts are spot on, but other times they may be way off. There may be situations that arise from time to time that can cause price targets to change drastically. Because targets may be arrived at using various methods, investors may  pay extra close attention when an individual analyst makes an update to the current target estimate.

As we move deeper into the year, investors will be paying attention to which companies are well-positioned for future growth. Even if the current earnings reports are a mixed bag, investors can study which industries look they are taking the top spot. Many active investors may be focusing on which way estimates are trending heading into the company earnings release. Analysts will often make updates to projections shortly before and after the earnings numbers are provided. Many active investors may enjoy the volatility that comes with trading around earnings, but others will choose to let the heavy action pass before deciding which stocks to buy or sell next.

Investors may be sizing up shares of F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:FFIV). After a recent check, we see that the current quarter EPS consensus estimate provided by Zacks is standing at 2.57. This EPS estimate is comprised of 9 sell-side analysts polled by Zacks. For the last reporting period, the company posted a quarterly EPS of 2.9. Analysts and investors will be closely studying the next round of company earnings reports. Consistent success on the earnings front may point to the company moving in the right direction. On the flip side, a company that has strung together a few bad quarters may ring the warning bells for interested investors.

Investors have the ability to follow Wall Street analyst views when conducting stock research. Sell-side analysts often put in a lot of time trying to evaluate the inner workings of a company. They may dig through the financials, conduct interviews, and pay keen attention to conference calls in order to compile data for the research report. Many analysts will offer buy, sell, or hold recommendations for stocks they cover. Checking on shares of F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:FFIV), we see that the current average broker rating is 2.88. This average rating falls on a scale from 1 to 5 where a 1 would indicate a Strong Buy. On the flip side, a 5 rating would signify a Strong Sell. Based on data provided by Zacks, there are currently 5 polled analysts rating the stock a Strong Buy or Buy. Investors often have to decide whether they are in agreement with how the analysts perceive the future prospects of a specific stock.

Investors may be searching for various types of stocks to help diversify the portfolio. Growth stocks include shares of companies that may have the possibility of generating higher than average profit growth and revenues. These companies tend to pump earnings back into the business, and they generally expand quicker than the overall economy. Although growth stocks can be a bit riskier, they can also provide a higher level of reward down the line. Cyclical stocks consist of companies that typically will ride the wave of the overall economy. These shares tend to perform well when the economy is doing well and perform poorer when the economy is faltering.

Following recent trading activity on shares of F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:FFIV), we can see that the stock has been hovering near the 159.79 price level. Shareholders might be asking themselves whether now is a good time to buy or sell the stock. Over the previous 12 weeks, the stock has moved -2.99%. Looking back over the last month, shares have moved -6.51%. Over the previous week, the stock has changed -0.45%. Investors may also be watching the current price in relation to the 52-week highs/lows. After a recent scan, we note that the 52-week high is presently 199.42, and the 52-week low is 132.58.

Many investors are concerned with the proper portfolio diversification. Stock portfolio diversification entails spreading the investment dollars around to help minimize risk. When investors are creating a portfolio, they may be looking to add a combination of growth, value, income, dividend, and foreign stocks. They may also be spreading out stock picks among various industries. Keeping a mix of stocks that perform differently under certain market conditions can help keep the portfolio afloat when the environment shifts. Holding a few large positions in a small number stocks may lead to trouble if the market turns sour and stock prices decline drastically.

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