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Fellow Fools !

I would like to bring up a company to the Gorilla Game discussion - F5 Networks Inc. ( FFIV ).
Personally I feel this company should be added to the recently posted table of

" Gorilla Game Hunting in the Next Generation Network " in the Networking & Communications Category

F5 is a provider of integrated Internet traffic management solutions. With their product BIG/ip they have definiteley crossed the Chasm and knocked down their first bowling pin of the bowling alley.
Currently they are trying to bring down their dependabilty on BIG/ip ( 70% ofthe current revenue ) by filling several more niches in this area.
Will they knock down some more pins and move towards the tornado ?.

There definitely is a tornado going on with 53.000 servers being added to the Net every month ( Source: Internet Stock Report - Morning Report 02/11/00 )
( Network Traffic Management is going to be huge ! )

I´ve forgotten to explain what BIG/ip does - it manages traffic inside local area networks - these traffic management solutions monitor and balance the load on servers and other devices by determining which server can best respond to a user request and direct it accordingly, ensuring optimum response time for users.
This technology is software based and not done by switches.

F5 has an impressive customer base - it went from 750 to 1175 in the past three months and includes Exodus Communications ( EXDS ), MCI Worldcom ( WCOM ), Infospace ( INSP ) and Intuit ( INTU ) just to mention the largest.
Especially their relationship with Exodus is worth a note - F5 is allowed to place staff in Exodus´Internet Data Centers to support Internet Data Management.
Exodus is a major player in Internet Hosting Services so this relationship is of conserable value for F5.

The financials are impressive as well :

Latest Quarterly results were
Revenue 19.2 million ( + 611 % ) from 2.7 million
Earnings 0.18 versus ( 0.36 )

Their competition includes: Alteon WebSystems ( ATON ), Radware ( RDWR ),Foundry Networks ( FDRY ) - biggest threat would naturally be CSCO, but so far CSCO and the other companies I listed compete in different ways - their traffic management resides inside network switches.

So what do you think about F5 ???

Unlike GG investing style, I personally like to choose companies with promising prospects after doing my due dilligence during their Bowling Alley phase which is much more riskier, but if you choose the company well, the rewards are tremendous.

This post is not meant to push the stock - I am only very interested in your thoughts on this one.

Thanks for reading


Disclaimer: I am long FFIV with a very small amount of money ( bought 50 shares at $ 90 last week )


The Online Investor

MSN Moneycentral

The Internet Stock Report,1785,1661_302711,00.html
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