F5 forecasts strong second-quarter revenue on steady demand for cloud services

(Reuters) - Cloud and security services firm F5 forecast second-quarter revenue above Wall Street estimates on Monday, anticipating steady demand for its cloud services, sending its shares up more than 8% in after-market trading.

F5, which provides software and hardware that support applications over the Internet, has seen an increase in demand for its enterprise solutions as more businesses are aggressively digitizing their operations and moving to the cloud.

"Customers continue to watch their budgets closely. However, as we look ahead, we are encouraged by signs of stabilizing demand trends across all of our major geographic theaters," F5 CEO François Locoh-Donou said.

The Seattle, Washington-based company expects second-quarter revenue in the range of $675 million to $695 million, compared with analysts' average estimate of $675 million, according to LSEG data.

F5 expects adjusted earnings per share for second-quarter between $2.79 and $2.91, compared with estimates of $2.95.

The company also raised its annual forecast for adjusted profit per share to growth of 6% to 8% from growth of 5% to 7%, due to a lower expected tax rate for fiscal year 2024.

Revenue for the first-quarter ended Dec. 31 was $692.6 million, beating analysts' average estimate of $685.4 million, according to LSEG data.

Earnings per share for the first quarter were $2.32, compared with $1.20 a year earlier.

(Reporting by Jaspreet Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)