Asia, North America help boost F5 Networks profit

SEATTLE (AP) ? F5 Networks Inc. said Wednesday that strong sales in Asia and North America boosted fiscal first quarter profit by 19 percent, and it offered a forecast slightly above expectations.

Shares of the company, which sells information technology and networking equipment and services, rose almost 7 percent in extended trading after the results.

Strong sales in Asia Pacific, Japan and particularly North American offset the usual slowdown in the quarter that ended Dec. 31.

The company said net income was $66.5 million, or 83 cents per share, compared with $55.7 million, or 68 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding the cost of stock-based compensation, the company said it would have earned $1.03 per share. Analysts expected adjusted earnings of $1.01 per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue rose 20 percent to $322.4 million, topping analysts’ forecast of $319.4 million.

For the current quarter, which ends March 31, the company said it expects adjusted earnings of $1.05 to $1.07 per share on revenue of $332 million to $337 million. Analysts were looking for profit of $1.05 per share on revenue of $330.9 million.

F5 competes with companies such as Cisco Systems Inc. and Juniper Networks Inc.

Its shares were up $7.42 to $115.88 in extended trading. They ended the regular session up $2.15 to $108.46.