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F5 Networks Announces Preliminary Results for First Quarter of Fiscal 2009

F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV) today announced preliminary results for the first quarter of fiscal 2009, ended December 31. Revenue for the quarter is expected to be $165.6 million, below the company's guidance of $172 million - $174 million. GAAP EPS is expected in the range of $0.26 to $0.27 per diluted share, consistent with original guidance. Non-GAAP EPS is expected in the range of $0.40 to $0.41 per diluted share, as compared with original guidance of $0.41 to $0.42 per diluted share.

John McAdam, F5 president and chief executive officer, said the revenue shortfall resulted primarily from a fall-off in North American sales at quarter-end. "International revenue was in line with our expectations for the quarter, and total revenue was generally on track until the last week of December, when a number of anticipated orders from certain customers in North America did not come through."

McAdam said the company's sales management team is evaluating each of these anticipated orders to identify primary causes of the slowdown and the company expects to provide more specific information during its regularly scheduled conference call on January 21, 2009.

While overall product sales were below the company's internal forecast, sales of new entry-level products remained strong, and demand for BIG-IP 6900, launched in late October, were in line with expectations.

Deferred revenue, consisting primarily of unamortized service revenue, grew $11 million to $156 million. Cash flow from operations topped $57 million, and after purchasing $20 million of F5 common stock the company ended the quarter with cash and investments in excess of $487 million.

A reconciliation of the company's anticipated GAAP and non-GAAP earnings is provided in the following table:

Three months ended December 31, 2008 (Anticipated)
Reconciliation of Expected Non-GAAP First Quarter Earnings Low High

Net income $21.0 $21.8
Stock-based compensation expense, net of tax 10.9 10.9
Non-GAAP net income excluding stock-based compensation expense $31.9 $32.7
 
Net income per share - diluted $0.26 $0.27
Non-GAAP net income per share - diluted $0.40 $0.41

Conference Call Today

F5 will host a conference call today at 2:00 p.m. Pacific (5:00 p.m. Eastern) to discuss its preliminary first quarter results.

DIAL-IN NUMBERS: 800-857-3834 (US & Canada); 1-210-839-8222 (International)

CALL LEADER: John McAdam

PASSCODE: F5 NETWORKS

Please call in 10 minutes ahead of time to ensure a proper connection. If you have any problems or questions, please call F5 NETWORKS, INC. (206) 272-5555.

To listen to the live webcast, go to http://www.f5.com/about/investor-relations/events-calendar.html and click on the webcast URL for today's call.

Conference Call Replays

TELEPHONE REPLAY: Available January 6, 2009 (from 4:00 p.m. Pacific) through January 7, 2009 (until 5:00 p.m. Pacific)

DIAL-IN NUMBERS: 866-511-1893 (US & Canada); 1-203-369-1948 (International)

INTERNET REPLAY: Available until January 21, 2009

http://www.f5.com/about/investor-relations/events-calendar.html

The company will report final results for the first quarter of fiscal 2009 in its regularly scheduled earnings release and conference call on Wednesday, January 21, 2009. Call-in numbers and webcast information are available at http://www.f5.com/about/investor-relations/events-calendar.html.

About F5 Networks

F5 Networks is the global leader in Application Delivery Networking. F5 provides solutions that make applications secure, fast, and available for everyone. By adding intelligence and manageability into the network to offload applications and optimize the data storage layer, F5 extends the power of intelligent networking to all levels of application delivery. F5's extensible architecture optimizes applications, delivers application reliability and protects the application and network. Enterprise organizations, service providers and Web 2.0 content providers worldwide trust F5 to keep their applications running. The company is headquartered in Seattle, Washington with offices worldwide. For more information, go to www.f5.com.

Forward Looking Statements

Statements in this press release concerning the continuing strength of F5's business, sequential growth, the target revenue and earnings range, share amount and share price assumptions, demand for application delivery networking and storage virtualization products and other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, as well as assumptions and other factors that, if they do not fully materialize or prove correct, could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the company, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to: customer acceptance of our new traffic management, security, application delivery, WAN optimization and storage virtualization offerings; the timely development, introduction and acceptance of additional new products and features by F5 or its competitors; competitive pricing pressures; increased sales discounts; F5's ability to sustain, develop and effectively utilize distribution relationships; F5's ability to attract, train and retain qualified product development, marketing, sales, professional services and customer support personnel; F5's ability to expand in international markets; the unpredictability of F5's sales cycle; the share repurchase program; future prices of F5's common stock; and other risks and uncertainties described more fully in our documents filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available as of the date hereof and qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. F5 assumes no obligation to revise or update these forward-looking statements.

GAAP to non-GAAP Reconciliation

F5's management evaluates and makes operating decisions using various operating measures. These measures are generally based on the revenues of its products, services operations and certain costs of those operations, such as cost of revenues, research and development, sales and marketing and general and administrative expenses. One such measure is net income excluding stock-based compensation, which is a non-GAAP financial measure under Section 101 of Regulation G under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. This measure consists of GAAP net income excluding, as applicable, stock-based compensation. Net income excluding stock-based compensation (non-GAAP) is adjusted by the amount of additional taxes or tax benefit that the company would accrue if it used non-GAAP results instead of GAAP results to calculate the company's tax liability. Stock-based compensation is a non-cash expense that F5 has accounted for since July 1, 2005 in accordance with the fair value recognition provisions of Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 123(R), "Share-Based Payment."

Management believes that net income excluding stock-based compensation (non-GAAP) provides useful supplemental information to management and investors regarding the performance of the company's business operations and facilitates comparisons to the company's historical operating results. Although F5's management finds this non-GAAP measure to be useful in evaluating the performance of the business, management's reliance on this measure is limited because items excluded from such measures could have a material effect on F5's earnings and earnings per share calculated in accordance with GAAP. Therefore, F5's management will use its non-GAAP earnings and earnings per share measures, in conjunction with GAAP earnings and earnings per share measures, to address these limitations when evaluating the performance of the company's business. Investors should consider these non-GAAP measures in addition to, and not as a substitute for, financial performance measures in accordance with GAAP.

F5 believes that presenting its non-GAAP measure of earnings and earnings per share provides investors with an additional tool for evaluating the performance of the company's business, which management uses in its own evaluation of the company's performance. Investors are encouraged to look at GAAP results as the best measure of financial performance. For example, stock-based compensation is an obligation of the Company that should be considered and each line item is important to financial performance generally. However, while the GAAP results are more complete, the company provides investors this supplemental measure since, with reconciliation to GAAP, it may provide additional insight into its operational performance and financial results.

About F5

F5 (NASDAQ: FFIV) makes apps go faster, smarter, and safer for the world’s largest businesses, service providers, governments, and consumer brands. F5 delivers cloud and security solutions that enable organizations to embrace the application infrastructure they choose without sacrificing speed and control. For more information, go to f5.com. You can also follow @f5networks on Twitter or visit us on LinkedIn and Facebook for more information about F5, its partners, and technologies.

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This press release may contain forward looking statements relating to future events or future financial performance that involve risks and uncertainties. Such statements can be identified by terminology such as "may," "will," "should," "expects," "plans," "anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "predicts," "potential," or "continue," or the negative of such terms or comparable terms. These statements are only predictions and actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these statements based upon a number of factors including those identified in the company's filings with the SEC.

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