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F5 Networks (FFIV) has historically offered longs a better trading opportunity in its post-earnings after-hours and regular session trade. But shorts are still in the game.

FFIV has seen an after-hours earnings-driven gain in 19 of the 30 quarters we've tracked in our database and 13 times recorded a more aggressive upside move in next-day regular session trade, or 68% of the time.

The stock has declined in 11 after-hours moves, and added to that downside six times in next-day action, or 55% of the time.

FFIV is due with its Q1 results in tonight's after-hours session, and analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect the company to post a profit of $1.01 per share on revenue of $319 million.

Here's the post-earnings after-hours history:

  • On Oct. 25, 2011, FFIV advanced 7.5% in night trading on the back of better-than-expected results and in-line guidance. The stock jumped even higher the next day, closing the Oct. 26 regular session up 14%.
  • On July 20, 2011, FFIV slumped 7.5% in evening trading after meeting Q3 revenue estimates, beating on EPS, and guiding in-line for Q4. The stock headed deeper south the next day, closing the July 21 regular session down 11.2%.
  • On April 20, 2011, the stock jumped 12.7% in after-hours trading following an earnings beat and guidance that straddled the Street view. Shares were up a less-aggressive 7.1% the next day.
  • On Jan. 19, 2011, FFIV plummeted 22% in after-hours action after missing Q1 revenue expectations and setting its Q2 revenue view below Street estimates. The stock held most of its declines in the following day's regular session, ending off 21.3% on Jan. 20.
  • On Oct. 26, 2010, FFIV advanced 5.1% in after-hours trading after posting better-than-expected results and guidance. The stock surged higher the next day, closing the Oct. 27 regular session up 14.4%.
  • On July 21, 2010, the stock gained 6.7% in evening trading after a Q3 beat and Q4 guidance set above the Street view. Shares jumped 14% the next day.
  • On April 21, 2010, the stock fell 3.2% despite a Q2 earnings beat. Shares rose 7.2% the next day.
  • On Jan. 20, 2010, the stock was up 1.2% after beating with earnings, guidance. Shares were up 3% the next day.
  • On Oct. 21, 2009, the stock gained 7.7% in evening hours after reporting a Q4 beat and guiding above the Street for Q1. The stock doubled its evening gain, rising 15.5% the next day.
  • On July 22, 2009, FFIV gained 3.4% in evening trading after reporting better-than-expected Q3 results and Q4 guidance. The stock went higher the following day, ending the July 23 regular session up 4.7%.
  • On April 22, 2009, the stock fell 3.6% after meeting Q2 expectations and guiding in line for Q3. Shares fell a deeper 4.3% the next day.
  • On Jan. 21, 2009, FFIV advanced 7.5% in after-hours trading after reporting results in line with Street estimates. It lost a good portion of that gain the next day, closing the Jan. 22 regular session up 3.8%.
  • On Oct. 22, 2008, the stock jumped 12.4% after an earnings beat and in-line revenue. The gain was trimmed to 10% the following day.
  • On July 23, 2008, FFIV declined 5.7% in evening trading despite topping Q3 expectations. It reversed course the following day, rising 3.6% by the regular session close on July 24.
  • On April 23, 2008, FFIV advanced 6.8% in after-hours trading on better-than-expected Q2 results. It saw that gain cut back just a bit in the April 24 regular session, ending up 6.2%.
  • On Jan. 23, 2008, FFIV charged 20% higher in night trading after blowing past earnings expectations and guiding its forward profits well above the then-current Street consensus. The stock firmed even higher on Jan. 24, closing with a 22.9% rise.
  • On Oct. 24, 2007, FFIV was hit for an 8.9% decline in night trading after issuing earnings guidance that was below Street estimates. The stock tumbled further the next day, down 15.5% by the close.
  • On July 25, 2007, FFIV fell 2.1% in evening hours when the company topped Q3 earnings estimates but missed on sales. Shares eased a bit further the next day to close the regular session down 2.7%.
  • On April 25, 2007, FFIV advanced 16.1% in after-hours trading after beating on Q2 and setting its Q3 guidance to match or top the Street. Buyers continued to pile into the shares the next day, boosting FFIV 21% by the April 26 closing bell.
  • On Jan. 24, 2007, FFIV dropped 6% in night trading after topping Q1 sales estimates but missing on EPS and forecasting Q2 EPS below expectations. However, shares recovered most of their losses the next day, ending the regular session down only 0.6%.
  • On Oct. 25, 2006, the stock jumped 10.5% in the evening hours after the company beat with Q4 results and guided higher. Shares gained 14.6% the next day.
  • On July 20, 2006, shares fell 6.1% in the evening hours after the company reported ahead with Q3 but said it expects a restatement. The loss was 7.5% the next day.
  • In April 20, 2006, FFIV slid 14.4% in after-hours trading when the company missed Q2 estimates and guided Q3 lower. The shares rebounded slightly the next day, ending the regular session down 11.5%.
  • On January 19, 2006, FFIV rose 4.2% in night trading after beating Q1 expectations and guiding Q2 above Street views. However, the shares lost some steam and closed the next day session up 3.5%.
  • On Oct. 25, 2005, FFIV soared 16.3% in evening trading after the company topped Q4 forecasts and set its Q1 view above expectations. Bulls piled into the issue on Oct. 26, goosing it 23.5% between the bells.
  • On July 20, 2005, FFIV ended the evening session down 5.5% despite better-than-expected Q3 result and a bullish Q4 outlook. The shares widened their losses the next day, sinking 17.7% in regular hours trade.
  • On April 20, 2005 FFIV declined 6.1% in after-hours trading after the company beat expectations and guided ahead of the Street. It trimmed much of those declines on April 21 as the stock ended the regular session down a slight 0.07%.
  • On Jan. 19, 2005, FFIV blew past its Q1 expectations and guided for a strong Q2. The stock jumped 4.8% in that night's after-hours session, only to see a lofty follow-on upside on Jan. 20 with the issue closing the regular session up 13.5%.
  • On Oct. 26, 2004 FFIV jumped 7.9% in night trading on better-than-expected results and higher guidance. It surged 21.9% by the Oct. 27 closing bell.
  • On July 21, 2004, FFIV beat Street estimates and the stock added 6.7% in after-hours trade. It climbed higher July 22, ramping up 14.6% by the end of bell-to-bell trade.
  • The stock failed to generate much enthusiasm the evening of April 21, 2004, edging up 0.3% on strong results and bullish guidance. It slipped into the red in next-day trade, losing about 2.3% by the close.
Source: F5 Networks Plays Well For Longs And Shorts Following Earnings-Driven After-Hours Moves