Monday, January 24, 2011

Cursory Bounce Over in F5 Networks (FFIV) - Now the Fun

The traditional mini dead cat bounce in a beaten down stock occurred as the over eager jumped in with both one hands on F5 Networks (FFIV); frankly it was a pretty weak bounce as the stock opened in the low $110s after the earnings implosion and peaked near $115.  Not much there unless you were among the more nimble who bought later in the day when the stock dipped below $108, and flipped it immediately.  There is no way a stock is going to fall this much and not fill the gap - in this case the $104s so that appears to have an excellent chance of happening today.  Under a dollar away.

The larger picture is what is next?  Of course in a market where the index moves have tended to dominate individual moves for the greater part of the past few years - if there is ever going to be a real correction again, this - and a lot of charts - are at serious risk.  It would be interesting to see how F5 reacts in a market that goes down 5-7%; I would doubt the 200 day moving average near $101 will hold, and we'd most likely get a test to the $90 level of mid October.  At that point, after a 38% peak to trough drop, you'd have a very busted chart but a more compelling valuation argument.

The problem right now is who is going to sponsor this stock. The "momo" players are long gone as the momentum has exited stage right, while the 'value' players won't be touching this anywhere near these levels.  So all you have are the 'growth at a reasonable price' types and those (hand raised) are a small niche in a world dominated by momentum.  With the market still refusing to enjoy a selloff of any proportion it is hard to figure what the outcome will be in the near term.  Tough one, especially with names the market considers peers (even though they are not) reporting in the coming weeks.  It is pretty clear investors in those stocks are shooting first and asking questions later - which ironically might create some UPSIDE surprises during their earning reports.  Baby.  Bathwater.

No position

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