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TMCNet:  F5 NETWORKS INC - 10-Q - Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

[February 07, 2013]

F5 NETWORKS INC - 10-Q - Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

(Edgar Glimpses Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) The following discussion of our financial condition and results of operations contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933.

These statements include, but are not limited to, statements about our plans, objectives, expectations, strategies, intentions or other characterizations of future events or circumstances and are generally identified by the words "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "plans," "believes," "seeks," "estimates," and similar expressions. These forward-looking statements are based on current information and expectations and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. Our actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, those discussed under "Item 1A. Risk Factors" herein and in other documents we file from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We assume no obligation to revise or update any such forward-looking statements.

Overview We are a global provider of appliances consisting of software and hardware and services that help companies efficiently and securely manage the delivery, optimization and security of application and data traffic on Internet-based networks, and to optimize the performance and utilization of data storage infrastructure and other network resources. We market and sell our products primarily through multiple indirect sales channels in the Americas (primarily the United States); Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA); Japan; and the Asia Pacific region (APAC). Enterprise customers (Fortune 1000 or Business Week Global 1000 companies) in the technology, telecommunications, financial services, transportation, education, manufacturing and health care industries, along with government customers, continue to make up the largest percentage of our customer base.

17 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Table of Contents Our management team monitors and analyzes a number of key performance indicators in order to manage our business and evaluate our financial and operating performance on a consolidated basis. Those indicators include: • Revenues. The majority of our revenues are derived from sales of our application delivery networking (ADN) products including our high end VIPRION chassis and related software modules; BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager, BIG-IP Global Traffic Manager, BIG-IP Link Controller, BIG-IP Application Security Manager, BIG-IP Edge Gateway, BIG-IP WAN Optimization module, BIG-IP Access Policy Manager, WebAccelerator; FirePass SSL VPN appliance; Traffix diameter signaling products; and ARX file virtualization products. We also derive revenues from the sales of services including annual maintenance contracts, training and consulting services. We carefully monitor the sales mix of our revenues within each reporting period. We believe customer acceptance rates of our new products and feature enhancements are indicators of future trends.

We also consider overall revenue concentration by customer and by geographic region as additional indicators of current and future trends.

• Cost of revenues and gross margins. We strive to control our cost of revenues and thereby maintain our gross margins. Significant items impacting cost of revenues are hardware costs paid to our contract manufacturers, third-party software license fees, amortization of developed technology and personnel and overhead expenses. Our margins have remained relatively stable; however, factors such as sales price, product mix, inventory obsolescence, returns, component price increases and warranty costs could significantly impact our gross margins from quarter to quarter and represent significant indicators we monitor on a regular basis.

• Operating expenses. Operating expenses are substantially driven by personnel and related overhead expenses. Existing headcount and future hiring plans are the predominant factors in analyzing and forecasting future operating expense trends. Other significant operating expenses that we monitor include marketing and promotions, travel, professional fees, computer costs related to the development of new products, facilities and depreciation expenses.

• Liquidity and cash flows. Our financial condition remains strong with significant cash and investments and no long term debt. The increase in cash and investments for the first three months of fiscal year 2013 was primarily due to net income from operations, with operating activities providing cash of $144.8 million. This increase was partially offset by $50.0 million of cash used to repurchase outstanding common stock under our stock repurchase program in the first three months of fiscal year 2013. Going forward, we believe the primary driver of cash flows will be net income from operations.

Capital expenditures for the first three months of fiscal year 2013 were comprised primarily of information technology infrastructure and equipment purchases to support the growth of our core business activities, and expenses related to the addition and expansion of our worldwide facilities. We will continue to evaluate possible acquisitions of, or investments in businesses, products, or technologies that we believe are strategic, which may require the use of cash.

• Balance sheet. We view cash, short-term and long-term investments, deferred revenue, accounts receivable balances and days sales outstanding as important indicators of our financial health. Deferred revenues increased in the first quarter of fiscal year 2013 due to growth in the amount of annual maintenance contracts purchased on new products and maintenance renewal contracts related to our existing product installation base. Our days sales outstanding for the first quarter of fiscal year 2013 was 51.

Summary of Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates The preparation of our financial condition and results of operations requires us to make judgments and estimates that may have a significant impact upon our financial results. We believe that, of our significant accounting policies, the following require estimates and assumptions that require complex, subjective judgments by management, which can materially impact reported results: revenue recognition; reserve for doubtful accounts; reserve for product returns; reserve for warranties; accounting for income taxes; stock-based compensation; investments; goodwill impairment; and the fair value measurements of financial assets and liabilities. None of these accounting policies and estimates have significantly changed since our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended September 30, 2012 (Form 10-K). Critical accounting policies and estimates are more fully described in "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in the Form 10-K. Actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions.

Results of Operations The following discussion and analysis should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements, related notes and risk factors included elsewhere in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q.

18 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Table of Contents Three months ended December 31, 2012 2011 (in thousands, except percentages) Net Revenues Products $ 204,712 $ 196,554 Services 160,739 125,878 Total $ 365,451 $ 322,432 Percentage of net revenues Products 56.0 % 61.0 % Services 44.0 39.0 Total 100.0 % 100.0 % Net revenues. Total net revenues increased 13.3% for the three months ended December 31, 2012, from the same period in the prior year. Overall revenue growth for the three months ended December 31, 2012 was primarily due to increased service and product revenues as a result of our increased installed base of products and increased demand for our core ADN products, including our application security products. International revenues represented 46.7% of total net revenues for the three months ended December 31, 2012, compared to 47.0% for the same period in the prior year. We expect international sales will continue to represent a significant portion of net revenues, although we cannot provide assurance that international revenues as a percentage of net revenues will remain at current levels.

Net product revenues increased 4.2% for the three months ended December 31, 2012, from the same period in the prior year. The increase in net product revenues for the three months ended December 31, 2012 was primarily due to an increase of $8.2 million in sales of our ADN products from the same period in the prior year. Sales of our ADN products represented 98.8% of product revenues for the three months ended December 31, 2012, compared to 98.7% of product revenues for the three months ended December 31, 2011.

Net service revenues increased 27.7% for the three months ended December 31, 2012, from the same period in the prior year. The increase in net service revenues was primarily due to increases in the purchase or renewal of maintenance contracts driven by additions to our installed base of products.

Avnet Technology Solutions, Ingram Micro, and Westcon, three of our worldwide distributors, accounted for 16.9%, 15.2%, and 11.0% of our total net revenue for the three months ended December 31, 2012, respectively. Avnet Technology Solutions and Ingram Micro accounted for 17.9% and 13.7% of our total net revenue for the three months ended December 31, 2011, respectively. Avnet Technology Solutions and Ingram Micro accounted for 11.2% and 10.3% of our accounts receivable as of December 31, 2012, respectively. Avnet Technology Solutions accounted for 15.6% of our accounts receivable as of December 31, 2011. No other distributors accounted for more than 10% of total net revenue or receivables.

Three months ended December 31, 2012 2011 (in thousands, except percentages) Cost of net revenues and Gross Margin Products $ 31,792 $ 33,200 Services 29,093 22,406 Total 60,885 55,606 Gross profit $ 304,566 $ 266,826 Percentage of net revenues and Gross Margin (as a percentage of related net revenue) Products 15.5 % 16.9 % Services 18.1 17.8 Total 16.7 17.2 Gross profit 83.3 % 82.8 % Cost of net product revenues. Cost of net product revenues consist of finished products purchased from our contract manufacturers, manufacturing overhead, freight, warranty, provisions for excess and obsolete inventory and amortization expenses in connection with developed technology from acquisitions. Cost of net product revenues decreased 4.2% for the three months ended December 31, 2012, as compared to the same period in the prior year.

19 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Table of Contents Cost of net service revenues. Cost of net service revenues consist of the salaries and related benefits of our professional services staff, travel, facilities and depreciation expenses. For the three months ended December 31, 2012, cost of net service revenues as a percentage of net service revenues were 18.1%, compared to 17.8% for the three months ended December 31, 2011.

Professional services headcount at the end of December 2012 increased to 701 from 538 at the end of December 2011. In addition, cost of net service revenues included stock-based compensation expense of $2.6 million for the three months ended December 31, 2012, compared to $2.2 million for the same period in the prior year.

Three months ended December 31, 2012 2011 (in thousands, except percentages) Operating expenses Sales and marketing $ 122,268 $ 106,238 Research and development 48,541 39,122 General and administrative 24,673 21,677 Total $ 195,482 $ 167,037 Operating expenses (as a percentage of net revenue) Sales and marketing 33.5 % 33.0 % Research and development 13.3 12.1 General and administrative 6.7 6.7 Total 53.5 % 51.8 % Sales and marketing. Sales and marketing expenses consist of salaries, commissions and related benefits of our sales and marketing staff, the costs of our marketing programs, including public relations, advertising and trade shows, travel, facilities, and depreciation expenses. Sales and marketing expenses increased 15.1% for the three months ended December 31, 2012, from the comparable period in the prior year. The increase in sales and marketing expense was primarily due to an increase of $11.7 million in commissions and personnel costs. The increased commissions and personnel costs were driven primarily by growth in sales and marketing employee headcount and increased sales volume for the corresponding periods. Sales and marketing headcount at the end of December 2012 increased to 1,296 from 1,141 at the end of December 2011. Sales and marketing expense included stock-based compensation expense of $10.6 million for the three months ended December 31, 2012, compared to $9.1 million for the same period in the prior year. The increase in sales and marketing expense was also due to investments in marketing promotions and initiatives aimed at promoting our brand and creating market awareness of our technology and our products.

Research and development. Research and development expenses consist of the salaries and related benefits of our product development personnel, prototype materials and other expenses related to the development of new and improved products, facilities and depreciation expenses. Research and development expenses increased 24.1% for the three months ended December 31, 2012, from the comparable period in the prior year. The increase in research and development expense was primarily due to an increase of $7.4 million in personnel costs for the three months ended December 31, 2012, from the comparable period in the prior year. Research and development headcount at the end of December 2012 increased to 802 from 646 at the end of December 2011. Research and development expense included stock-based compensation expense of $7.8 million for the three months ended December 31, 2012, compared to $5.8 million for the same period in the prior year. We expect research and development expenses to remain consistent as a percentage of net revenue in the foreseeable future.

General and administrative. General and administrative expenses consist of the salaries, benefits and related costs of our executive, finance, information technology, human resource and legal personnel, third-party professional service fees, bad debt charges, facilities and depreciation expenses. General and administrative expenses increased 13.8% for the three months ended December 31, 2012, from the comparable period in the prior year. The increase in general and administrative expense was primarily due to an increase of $1.5 million in personnel costs for the three months ended December 31, 2012, from the comparable period in the prior year. Stock-based compensation expense was $5.4 million for the three months ended December 31, 2012, compared to $4.7 million for the same period in the prior year. General and administrative headcount at the end of December 2012 increased to 328 from 291 at the end of December 2011.

20 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Table of Contents Three months ended December 31, 2012 2011 (in thousands, except percentages) Other income and income taxes Income from operations $ 109,084 $ 99,789 Other income, net 1,550 1,861 Income before income taxes 110,634 101,650 Provision for income taxes 41,141 35,158 Net income $ 69,493 $ 66,492 Other income and income taxes (as percentage of net revenue) Income from operations 29.9 % 30.9 % Other income, net 0.4 0.6 Income before income taxes 30.3 31.5 Provision for income taxes 11.3 10.9 Net income 19.0 % 20.6 % Other income, net. Other income, net, consists primarily of interest income and foreign currency transaction gains and losses. Other income, net, for the three months ended December 31, 2012, remained relatively consistent compared to the same period in the prior year.

Provision for income taxes. We recorded a 37.2% provision for income taxes for the three month period ended December 31, 2012. The increase in the effective tax rate compared to the three month period ended December 31, 2011 is primarily due to the expiration of the United States federal credit for Increasing Research Activities on December 31, 2011 and an increase in non-deductible stock-based compensation attributable to foreign based employees. On January 2, 2013, the President signed into law the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. As part of that legislation, the United States federal credit for increasing research activities (the "Credit") was extended retroactive to January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2013. For financial reporting purposes, we will take into account the tax effects of this legislation, as it relates to the Credit, in the second quarter of our fiscal year 2013.

At December 31, 2012, there have been no material valuation allowances established on any of our deferred tax assets in any of the jurisdictions in which we operate because we believe that these assets are more likely than not to be realized. In making these determinations we have considered projected future taxable income and ongoing prudent and feasible tax planning strategies in assessing the appropriateness of a valuation allowance. Our net deferred tax assets at December 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011 were $46.6 million and $43.8 million, respectively. Our worldwide effective tax rate may fluctuate based on a number of factors including variations in projected taxable income in the various geographic locations in which we operate, changes in the valuation of our net deferred tax assets, resolution of potential exposures, tax positions taken on tax returns filed in the various geographic locations in which we operate, and the introduction of new accounting standards or changes in tax laws or interpretations thereof in the various geographic locations in which we operate. We have recorded liabilities to address potential tax exposures related to business and income tax positions we have taken that could be challenged by taxing authorities. The ultimate resolution of these potential exposures may be greater or less than the liabilities recorded which could result in an adjustment to our future tax expense.

Liquidity and Capital Resources Cash and cash equivalents, short-term investments and long-term investments totaled $1,289.0 million as of December 31, 2012 compared to $1,195.0 million as of September 30, 2012, representing an increase of $94.0 million. The increase was primarily due to cash provided by operating activities of $144.8 million for the three months ended December 31, 2012, which was partially offset by $50.0 million of additional cash required for the repurchase of outstanding common stock under our stock repurchase program. The increase in cash flow from operations for the first three months of fiscal year 2013 resulted from increased net income combined with changes in operating assets and liabilities, as adjusted for various non-cash items including stock-based compensation, depreciation and amortization charges. Based on our current operating and capital expenditure forecasts, we believe that our existing cash and investment balances, excluding auction rate securities (ARS), together with cash generated from operations should be sufficient to meet our operating requirements for at least the next twelve months.

Cash used in investing activities was $133.4 million for the three months ended December 31, 2012, compared to cash used in investing activities of $67.4 million for the same period in the prior year. Investing activities include purchases, sales and maturities of available-for-sale securities, business acquisitions, capital expenditures and changes in restricted cash requirements.

The amount of cash used in investing activities for the three months ended December 31, 2012 was primarily due to the purchase of investments and capital expenditures related to maintaining our operations worldwide partially offset by the sales and maturity of investments.

21 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Table of Contents Cash used in financing activities was $37.9 million for the three months ended December 31, 2012, compared to cash used in financing activities of $23.5 million for the same period in the prior year. Our financing activities for the three months ended December 31, 2012 consisted primarily of cash required for the repurchase of outstanding common stock under our stock repurchase program of $50.0 million, partially offset by cash received from the exercise of employee stock options and stock purchases under our employee stock purchase plan of $11.6 million.

Obligations and Commitments As of December 31, 2012, our principal commitments consisted of obligations outstanding under operating leases. We lease our facilities under operating leases that expire at various dates through 2023. There have been no material changes in our principal lease commitments compared to those discussed in the Form 10-K.

We outsource the manufacturing of our pre-configured hardware platforms to contract manufacturers who assemble each product to our specifications. Our agreement with our largest contract manufacturer allows them to procure component inventory on our behalf based upon a rolling production forecast. We are contractually obligated to purchase the component inventory in accordance with the forecast, unless we give notice of order cancellation in advance of applicable lead times. As of December 31, 2012, we were committed to purchase approximately $16.6 million of such inventory during the next 30 day period.

Recent Accounting Pronouncements The anticipated impact of recent accounting pronouncements is discussed in Note 1 to the accompanying Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements of this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q.

Risk Factors that May Affect Future Results This Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Our business, operating results, financial performance and share price may be materially adversely affected by a number of factors, including but not limited to the following risk factors, any one of which could cause actual results to vary materially from anticipated results or from those expressed in any forward-looking statements made by us in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q or in other reports, press releases or other statements issued from time to time. Additional factors that may cause such a difference are set forth elsewhere in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q.

Our quarterly and annual operating results may fluctuate in future periods, which may cause our stock price to fluctuate Our quarterly and annual operating results have varied significantly in the past and could vary significantly in the future, which makes it difficult for us to predict our future operating results. Our operating results may fluctuate due to a variety of factors, many of which are outside of our control, including the changing and recently volatile U.S. and global economic environment, which may cause our stock price to fluctuate. In particular, we anticipate that the size of customer orders may increase as we continue to focus on larger business accounts. A delay in the recognition of revenue, even from just one account, may have a significant negative impact on our results of operations for a given period. In the past, a majority of our sales have been realized near the end of a quarter. Accordingly, a delay in an anticipated sale past the end of a particular quarter may negatively impact our results of operations for that quarter, or in some cases, that fiscal year. Additionally, we have exposure to the credit risks of some of our customers and sub-tenants. Although we have programs in place that are designed to monitor and mitigate the associated risk, there can be no assurance that such programs will be effective in reducing our credit risks adequately. We monitor individual payment capability in granting credit arrangements, seek to limit the total credit to amounts we believe our customers can pay and maintain reserves we believe are adequate to cover exposure for potential losses. If there is a deterioration of a sub-tenant's or a major customer's creditworthiness or actual defaults are higher than expected, future losses, if incurred, could harm our business and have a material adverse effect on our operating results. Further, our operating results may be below the expectations of securities analysts and investors in future quarters or years.

Our failure to meet these expectations will likely harm the market price of our common stock. Such a decline could occur, and has occurred in the past, even when we have met our publicly stated revenue and/or earnings guidance.

In addition to other risks listed in this "Risk Factors" section, factors that may affect our operating results include, but are not limited to: • fluctuations in demand for our products and services due to changing market conditions, pricing conditions, technology evolution, seasonality, or other changes in the global economic environment; 22 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Table of Contents • changes or fluctuations in sales and implementation cycles for our products and services; • reduced visibility into our customers' spending and implementation plans; • reductions in customers' budgets for data center and other IT purchases or delays in these purchases; • fluctuations in our gross margins, including the factors described herein, which may contribute to such fluctuations; • our ability to control costs, including operating expenses, the costs of hardware and software components, and other manufacturing costs; • our ability to develop, introduce and gain market acceptance of new products, technologies and services, and our success in new and evolving markets; • any significant changes in the competitive environment, including the entry of new competitors or the substantial discounting of products or services; • the timing and execution of product transitions or new product introductions, and related inventory costs; • variations in sales channels, product costs, or mix of products sold; • our ability to establish and manage our distribution channels, and the effectiveness of any changes we make to our distribution model; • the ability of our contract manufacturers and suppliers to provide component parts, hardware platforms and other products in a timely manner; • benefits anticipated from our investments in sales, marketing, product development, manufacturing or other activities; • changes in tax laws or regulations, or other accounting rules; and • general economic conditions, both domestically and in our foreign markets Our success depends on our timely development of new products and features, market acceptance of new product offerings and proper management of the timing of the life cycle of our products The application delivery networking and file virtualization markets are characterized by rapid technological change, frequent new product introductions, changes in customer requirements and evolving industry standards. Our continued success depends on our ability to identify and develop new products and new features for our existing products to meet the demands of these changes, and the acceptance of those products and features by our existing and target customers.

If we are unable to identify, develop and deploy new products and new product features on a timely basis, our business and results of operations may be harmed.

The current development cycle for our products is on average 12-24 months. The introduction of new products or product enhancements may shorten the life cycle of our existing products, or replace sales of some of our current products, thereby offsetting the benefit of even a successful product introduction, and may cause customers to defer purchasing our existing products in anticipation of the new products. This could harm our operating results by decreasing sales, increasing our inventory levels of older products and exposing us to greater risk of product obsolescence. We have also experienced, and may in the future experience, delays in developing and releasing new products and product enhancements. This has led to, and may in the future lead to, delayed sales, increased expenses and lower quarterly revenue than anticipated. Also, in the development of our products, we have experienced delays in the prototyping of our products, which in turn has led to delays in product introductions. In addition, complexity and difficulties in managing product transitions at the end-of-life stage of a product can create excess inventory of components associated with the outgoing product that can lead to increased expenses. Any or all of the above problems could materially harm our business and results of operations.

Our success depends on sales and continued innovation of our application delivery networking product lines For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2012 and the three months ended December 31, 2012, we derived approximately 98.6% and 98.8% of our net product revenues, respectively, or approximately 58.6% and 55.4% of our total net revenues, respectively, from sales of our application delivery networking (ADN) product lines. We expect to continue to derive a significant portion of our net 23 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Table of Contents revenues from sales of our ADN products in the future. Implementation of our strategy depends upon these products being able to solve critical network availability, performance, and security problems for our customers. If our ADN products are unable to solve these problems for our customers or if we are unable to sustain the high levels of innovation in our ADN product feature set needed to maintain leadership in what will continue to be a competitive market environment, our business and results of operations will be harmed.

We may not be able to compete effectively in the emerging application delivery networking and file virtualization markets The markets we serve are new, rapidly evolving and highly competitive, and we expect competition to persist and intensify in the future. Our principal competitors in the application delivery networking market include Brocade Communications Systems, Inc., Cisco Systems, Inc., Citrix Systems, Inc., Radware Ltd. and A10 Networks. In the adjacent WAN Optimization Controller market, we compete with Blue Coat Systems, Inc., Cisco, Citrix, Juniper Networks, Inc. and Riverbed Technology, Inc. In the file virtualization market, we compete with EMC Corporation. We expect to continue to face additional competition as new participants enter our markets. As we continue to expand globally, we may see new competitors in different geographic regions. In addition, larger companies with significant resources, brand recognition, and sales channels may form alliances with or acquire competing application delivery networking solutions from other companies and emerge as significant competitors. Potential competitors may bundle their products or incorporate an Internet traffic management or security component into existing products in a manner that discourages users from purchasing our products. Any of these circumstances may limit our opportunities for growth and negatively impact our financial performance.

The average selling price of our products may decrease and our costs may increase, which may negatively impact gross profits It is possible that the average selling prices of our products will decrease in the future in response to competitive pricing pressures, increased sales discounts, new product introductions by us or our competitors or other factors.

Therefore, in order to maintain our gross profits, we must develop and introduce new products and product enhancements on a timely basis and continually reduce our product costs. Our failure to do so will cause our net revenue and gross profits to decline, which will harm our business and results of operations. In addition, we may experience substantial period-to-period fluctuations in future operating results due to the erosion of our average selling prices.

It is difficult to predict our future operating results because we have an unpredictable sales cycle Our products have a lengthy sales cycle and the timing of our revenue is difficult to predict. Historically, our sales cycle has ranged from approximately two to three months and has tended to lengthen as we have increasingly focused our sales efforts on the enterprise market. Also, as our distribution strategy has evolved into more of a channel model, utilizing value-added resellers, distributors and systems integrators, the level of variability in the length of sales cycle across transactions has increased and made it more difficult to predict the timing of many of our sales transactions.

Sales of our products require us to educate potential customers in their use and benefits. Sales of our products are subject to delays from the lengthy internal budgeting, approval and competitive evaluation processes that large corporations and governmental entities may require. For example, customers frequently begin by evaluating our products on a limited basis and devote time and resources to testing our products before they decide whether or not to purchase. Customers may also defer orders as a result of anticipated releases of new products or enhancements by our competitors or us. As a result, our products have an unpredictable sales cycle that contributes to the uncertainty of our future operating results.

Our business may be harmed if our contract manufacturers are not able to provide us with adequate supplies of our products or if a single source of hardware assembly is lost or impaired We outsource the manufacturing of our hardware platforms to third party contract manufacturers who assemble these hardware platforms to our specifications. We have experienced minor delays in shipments from contract manufacturers in the past. However, if we experience major delays in the future or other problems, such as inferior quality and insufficient quantity of product, any one or a combination of these factors may harm our business and results of operations.

The inability of our contract manufacturers to provide us with adequate supplies of our products or the loss of one or more of our contract manufacturers may cause a delay in our ability to fulfill orders while we obtain a replacement manufacturer and may harm our business and results of operations. In particular, we currently subcontract manufacturing of our application delivery networking products to a single contract manufacturer with whom we do not have a long-term contract. If our arrangement with this single source of hardware assembly was terminated or otherwise impaired, and we were not able to engage another contract manufacturer in a timely manner, our business, financial condition and results of operation could be adversely affected.

If the demand for our products grows, we will need to increase our raw material and component purchases, contract manufacturing capacity and internal test and quality control functions. Any disruptions in product flow may limit our revenue, may harm our competitive position and may result in additional costs or cancellation of orders by our customers.

24 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Table of Contents Our business could suffer if there are any interruptions or delays in the supply of hardware components from our third-party sources We currently purchase several hardware components used in the assembly of our products from a number of single or limited sources. Lead times for these components vary significantly. The unavailability of suitable components, any interruption or delay in the supply of any of these hardware components or the inability to procure a similar component from alternate sources at acceptable prices within a reasonable time, may delay assembly and sales of our products and, hence, our revenues, and may harm our business and results of operations.

We are subject to governmental export and import controls that could subject us to liability or impair our ability to compete in international markets Our products are subject to U.S. export controls and may be exported outside the U.S. only with the required level of export license or through an export license exception because we incorporate encryption technology into our products. In addition, various countries regulate the import of certain encryption technology and have enacted laws that could limit our ability to distribute our products or our customers' ability to implement our products in those countries. Changes in our products or changes in export and import regulations may create delays in the introduction of our products in international markets, prevent our customers with international operations from deploying our products throughout their global systems or, in some cases, prevent the export or import of our products to certain countries altogether. Any change in export or import regulations or related legislation, shift in approach to the enforcement or scope of existing regulations or change in the countries, persons or technologies targeted by such regulations, could result in decreased use of our products by, or in our decreased ability to export or sell our products to, existing or potential customers with international operations. Any decreased use of our products or limitation on our ability to export or sell our products would likely adversely affect our business, operating results and financial condition.

Reliance on shipments at the end of the quarter could cause our revenue for the applicable period to fall below expected levels As a result of customer buying patterns and the efforts of our sales force and channel partners to meet or exceed their sales objectives, we have historically received a substantial portion of sales orders and generated a substantial portion of revenue during the last few weeks of each fiscal quarter. In addition, any significant interruption in our information technology systems, which manage critical functions such as order processing, revenue recognition, financial forecasts, inventory and supply chain management, and trade compliance reviews, could result in delayed order fulfillment and decreased revenue for that fiscal quarter. If expected revenue at the end of any fiscal quarter is delayed for any reason, including the failure of anticipated purchase orders to materialize, our third party contract manufacturers' inability to manufacture and ship products prior to fiscal quarter-end to fulfill purchase orders received near the end of the fiscal quarter, our failure to manage inventory to meet demand, our inability to release new products on schedule, any failure of our systems related to order review and processing, or any delays in shipments based on trade compliance requirements, our revenue for that quarter could fall below our expectations, resulting in a decline in the trading price of our common stock.

We may not be able to adequately protect our intellectual property, and our products may infringe on the intellectual property rights of third parties We rely on a combination of patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret laws, and restrictions on disclosure of confidential and proprietary information to protect our intellectual property rights. Despite our efforts to protect our proprietary rights, unauthorized parties may attempt to copy or otherwise obtain and use our products or technology. Monitoring unauthorized use of our products is difficult, and we cannot be certain that the steps we have taken will prevent misappropriation of our technology, particularly in foreign countries where the laws may not protect our proprietary rights as fully as in the United States.

Our industry is characterized by the existence of a large number of patents and frequent claims and related litigation regarding patent and other intellectual property rights. In the ordinary course of our business, we are involved in disputes and licensing discussions with others regarding their claimed proprietary rights and cannot provide assurance that we will always successfully defend ourselves against such claims. We expect that infringement claims may increase as the number of products and competitors in our market increases and overlaps occur. Also, as we have gained greater visibility, market exposure and competitive success, we face a higher risk of being the subject of intellectual property infringement claims. If we are found to infringe the proprietary rights of others, or if we otherwise settle such claims, we could be compelled to pay damages or royalties and either obtain a license to those intellectual property rights or alter our products so that they no longer infringe upon such proprietary rights. Any license could be very expensive to obtain or may not be available at all. Similarly, changing our products or processes to avoid infringing upon the rights of others may be costly or impractical. In addition, we have initiated, and may in the future initiate, claims or litigation against third parties for infringement of our proprietary rights, or to determine the scope and validity of our proprietary rights or those of our competitors. Any of these claims, whether claims that we are infringing the proprietary rights of others, or vice versa, with or without 25 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Table of Contents merit, may be time-consuming, result in costly litigation and diversion of technical and management personnel or require us to cease using infringing technology, develop non-infringing technology or enter into royalty or licensing agreements. Further, our license agreements typically require us to indemnify our customers, distributors and resellers for infringement actions related to our technology, which could cause us to become involved in infringement claims made against our customers, distributors or resellers. Any of the above-described circumstances relating to intellectual property rights disputes could result in our business and results of operations being harmed.

We incorporate open source software into our products. Although we monitor our use of open source closely, the terms of many open source licenses have not been interpreted by U.S. courts, and there is a risk that such licenses could be construed in a manner that could impose unanticipated conditions or restrictions on our ability to commercialize our products. We could also be subject to similar conditions or restrictions should there be any changes in the licensing terms of the open source software incorporated into our products. In either event, we could be required to seek licenses from third parties in order to continue offering our products, to re-engineer our products or to discontinue the sale of our products in the event re-engineering cannot be accomplished on a timely or successful basis, any of which could adversely affect our business, operating results and financial condition.

Many of our products include intellectual property licensed from third parties.

In the future, it may be necessary to renew licenses for third party intellectual property or obtain new licenses for other technology. These third party licenses may not be available to us on acceptable terms, if at all. The inability to obtain certain licenses, or litigation regarding the interpretation or enforcement of license rights and related intellectual property issues, could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results and financial condition. Furthermore, we license some third party intellectual property on a non-exclusive basis and this may limit our ability to protect our intellectual property rights in our products.

We may not be able to sustain or develop new distribution relationships, and a reduction or delay in sales to significant distribution partners could hurt our business We sell our products and services through multiple distribution channels in the United States and internationally, including leading industry distributors, value-added resellers, systems integrators, service providers and other indirect channel partners. We have a limited number of agreements with companies in these channels, and we may not be able to increase our number of distribution relationships or maintain our existing relationships. Recruiting and retaining qualified channel partners and training them in our technologies requires significant time and resources. These channel partners may also market, sell and support products and services that are competitive with ours and may devote more resources to the marketing, sales and support of such competitive products. Our indirect sales channel structure could subject us to lawsuits, potential liability, and reputational harm if, for example, any of our channel partners misrepresent the functionality of our products or services to customers or violate laws or our corporate policies. If we are unable to establish or maintain our indirect sales channels, our business and results of operations will be harmed. In addition, two worldwide distributors of our products accounted for 30.9% of our total net revenue for fiscal year 2012. Two worldwide distributors of our products accounted for 28.8% of our total net revenue for fiscal year 2011. Three worldwide distributors of our products accounted for 43.1% of our total net revenue for the three months ended December 31, 2012. A substantial reduction or delay in sales of our products to these distribution partners, if not replaced by sales to other indirect channel partners and distributors, could harm our business, operating results and financial condition.

Undetected software or hardware errors or security vulnerabilities may harm our business and results of operations Our products may contain undetected errors or defects when first introduced or as new versions are released. We have experienced these errors or defects in the past in connection with new products and product upgrades. We expect that these errors or defects will be found from time to time in new or enhanced products after commencement of commercial shipments. These problems may cause us to incur significant warranty and repair costs, divert the attention of our engineering personnel from our product development efforts and cause significant customer relations problems. We may also be subject to liability claims for damages related to product errors or defects. While we carry insurance policies covering this type of liability, these policies may not provide sufficient protection should a claim be asserted. A material product liability claim may harm our business and results of operations.

Our products must successfully operate with products from other vendors. As a result, when problems occur in a network, it may be difficult to identify the source of the problem. The occurrence of software or hardware problems, whether caused by our products or another vendor's products, may result in the delay or loss of market acceptance of our products. The occurrence of any of these problems may harm our business and results of operations.

Our products are used to manage critical applications and data for customers and third parties may attempt to exploit security vulnerabilities in our products.

As we continue to focus on the development and marketing of security solutions, we become a bigger target for malicious computer hackers who wish to exploit security vulnerabilities in our products. These problems may cause us to 26 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Table of Contents incur significant remediation costs, divert the attention of our engineering personnel from our product development efforts and cause significant customer relations problems. Adverse publicity related to security vulnerabilities or damage to a customer's operations due to exploitation of security vulnerability in our products may harm our business and results of operations.

Any errors, defects or vulnerabilities in our products could result in: • expenditures of significant financial and product development resources in efforts to analyze, correct, eliminate, or work-around errors and defects or to address and eliminate vulnerabilities; • loss of existing or potential customers or channel partners; • delayed or lost revenue; • delay or failure to attain market acceptance; • an increase in warranty claims compared with our historical experience, or an increased cost of servicing warranty claims, either of which would adversely affect our gross margins; and • litigation, regulatory inquiries, or investigations that may be costly and harm our reputation.

We are dependent on various information technology systems, and failures of or interruptions to those systems could harm our business Many of our business processes depend upon our information technology (IT) systems, the systems and processes of third parties, and on interfaces with the systems of third parties. For example, our order entry system provides information to the systems of our contract manufacturers, which enables them to build and ship our products. If those systems fail or are interrupted, or if our ability to connect to or interact with one or more networks is interrupted, our processes may function at a diminished level or not at all. This would harm our ability to ship products, and our financial results may be harmed.

In addition, reconfiguring our IT systems or other business processes in response to changing business needs may be time-consuming and costly. To the extent this impacted our ability to react timely to specific market or business opportunities, our financial results may be harmed.

Adverse general economic conditions or reduced information technology spending may adversely impact our business A substantial portion of our business depends on the demand for information technology by large enterprise customers and service providers, the overall economic health of our current and prospective customers and the continued growth and evolution of the Internet. International, national, regional and local economic conditions, such as recessionary economic cycles, protracted economic slowdown or further deterioration of the economy could adversely impact demand for our products. The purchase of our products is often discretionary and may involve a significant commitment of capital and other resources. Continued weak economic conditions or a reduction in information technology spending even if economic conditions improve would likely result in longer sales cycles and reduced product sales, each of which would adversely impact our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Our operating results are exposed to risks associated with international commerce As our international sales increase, our operating results become more exposed to international operating risks. These risks include risks related to recessionary economic cycles or protracted slowdowns in economies outside the United States, foreign currency exchange rates, managing foreign sales offices, regulatory, political or economic conditions in specific countries, military conflict or terrorist activities, changes in laws and tariffs, inadequate protection of intellectual property rights in foreign countries, foreign regulatory requirements and natural disasters. We must hire and train experienced personnel to staff and manage our foreign operations. To the extent that we experience difficulties in recruiting, training, managing, and retaining an international staff, and specifically staff related to sales management and sales personnel, we may experience difficulties in sales productivity in foreign markets. We also enter into strategic distributor and reseller relationships with companies in certain international markets where we do not have a local presence. If we are not able to maintain successful strategic distributor relationships internationally or recruit additional companies to enter into strategic distributor relationships, our future success in these international markets could be limited. Business practices in the international markets that we serve may differ from those in the United States and may require us in the future to include terms other than our standard terms in customer contracts, although to date we generally have not done so. To the extent that we may enter into customer contracts in the future that include non-standard terms related to payment, warranties, or performance obligations, our operating results may be adversely impacted. All of these factors could have a material adverse effect on our business. We intend to continue expanding into international markets. Sales outside of the Americas represented 42.4% and 41.2% of our net revenues for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2012 and 2011, respectively, and 41.7% for the three months ended December 31, 2012.

27 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Table of Contents Changes in governmental regulations could negatively affect our revenues Our products are subject to various regulations promulgated by the United States and various foreign governments including, but not limited to, environmental regulations and regulations implementing export license requirements and restrictions on the import or export of some technologies, especially encryption technology. Changes in governmental regulation and our inability or failure to obtain required approvals, permits or registrations could harm our international and domestic sales and adversely affect our revenues, business and operations.

Changes in financial accounting standards may cause adverse unexpected revenue fluctuations and affect our reported results of operations A change in accounting policies can have a significant effect on our reported results and may even affect our reporting of transactions completed before the change is effective. New pronouncements and varying interpretations of existing pronouncements have occurred with frequency and may occur in the future. Changes to existing rules, or changes to the interpretations of existing rules, could lead to changes in our accounting practices, and such changes could adversely affect our reported financial results or the way we conduct our business.

We may have exposure to greater than anticipated tax liabilities Our provision for income taxes is subject to volatility and could be adversely affected by nondeductible stock-based compensation, changes in the research and development tax credit laws, earnings being lower than anticipated in jurisdictions where we have lower statutory rates and being higher than anticipated in jurisdictions where we have higher statutory rates, transfer pricing adjustments, not meeting the terms and conditions of tax holidays or incentives, changes in the valuation of our deferred tax assets and liabilities, changes in actual results versus our estimates, or changes in tax laws, regulations, accounting principles or interpretations thereof. In addition, like other companies, we may be subject to examination of our income tax returns by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and other tax authorities. While we regularly assess the likelihood of adverse outcomes from such examinations and the adequacy of our provision for income taxes, there can be no assurance that such provision is sufficient and that a determination by a tax authority will not have an adverse effect on our results of operations.

Acquisitions, including our recent acquisition of Traffix Systems, present many risks and we may not realize the financial and strategic goals that are contemplated at the time of the transaction With respect to our past acquisitions, as well as any other future acquisitions we may undertake, we may find that the acquired businesses, products or technologies do not further our business strategy as expected, that we paid more than what the assets are later worth or that economic conditions change, all of which may generate future impairment charges. Our acquisitions may be viewed negatively by customers, financial markets or investors. There may be difficulty integrating the operations and personnel of the acquired business, and we may have difficulty retaining the key personnel of the acquired business. We may have difficulty in integrating the acquired technologies or products with our existing product lines. Our ongoing business and management's attention may be disrupted or diverted by transition or integration issues and the complexity of managing geographically and culturally diverse locations. We may have difficulty maintaining uniform standards, controls, procedures and policies across locations. We may experience significant problems or liabilities associated with product quality, technology and other matters.

Our inability to successfully operate and integrate newly-acquired businesses appropriately, effectively and in a timely manner, or to retain key personnel of any acquired business, could have a material adverse effect on our ability to take advantage of further growth in demand for integrated traffic management and security solutions and other advances in technology, as well as on our revenues, gross margins and expenses.

Our success depends on our key personnel and our ability to hire, retain and motivate qualified sales and marketing, operations, product development and professional services personnel Our success depends to a significant degree upon the continued contributions of our key management, product development, sales, marketing and finance personnel, many of whom may be difficult to replace. The complexity of our application delivery networking products and their integration into existing networks and ongoing support, as well as the sophistication of our sales and marketing effort, requires us to retain highly trained professional services, customer support and sales personnel. Competition for qualified professional services, customer support and sales personnel in our industry is intense because of the limited number of people available with the necessary technical skills and understanding of our products. Our ability to hire and retain these personnel may be 28 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Table of Contents adversely affected by volatility or reductions in the price of our common stock, since these employees are generally granted restricted stock units. The loss of services of any of our key personnel, the inability to retain and attract qualified personnel in the future or delays in hiring qualified personnel may harm our business and results of operations.

We face litigation risks We are a party to lawsuits in the normal course of our business. Litigation in general, and intellectual property and securities litigation in particular, can be expensive, lengthy and disruptive to normal business operations. Moreover, the results of complex legal proceedings are difficult to predict. Responding to lawsuits has been, and will likely continue to be, expensive and time-consuming for us. An unfavorable resolution of these lawsuits could adversely affect our business, results of operations or financial condition.

Anti-takeover provisions could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire us Our Board of Directors has the authority to issue up to 10,000,000 shares of preferred stock and to determine the price, rights, preferences, privileges and restrictions, including voting rights, of those shares without any further vote or action by the shareholders. The rights of the holders of common stock may be subject to, and may be adversely affected by, the rights of the holders of any preferred stock that may be issued in the future. The issuance of preferred stock may have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change of control of our company without further action by our shareholders and may adversely affect the voting and other rights of the holders of common stock.

Further, certain provisions of our bylaws, including a provision limiting the ability of shareholders to raise matters at a meeting of shareholders without giving advance notice, may have the effect of delaying or preventing changes in control or management of our company, which could have an adverse effect on the market price of our common stock. In addition, our articles of incorporation currently provide for a staggered board, which may make it more difficult for a third party to gain control of our Board of Directors. Similarly, state anti-takeover laws in the State of Washington related to corporate takeovers may prevent or delay a change of control of our company.

Our business is subject to the risks of earthquakes, fire, power outages, floods, and other catastrophic events, and to interruption by man-made problems such as terrorism A significant natural disaster, such as an earthquake, fire, a flood, or significant power outage could have a material adverse impact on our business, operating results, and financial condition. We have an administrative and product development office and a third party contract manufacturer located in the San Francisco Bay Area, a region known for seismic activity. In addition, natural disasters could affect our supply chain, manufacturing vendors, or logistics providers' ability to provide materials and perform services such as manufacturing products or assisting with shipments on a timely basis. In the event our or our service providers' information technology systems or manufacturing or logistics abilities are hindered by any of the events discussed above, shipments could be delayed, resulting in missed financial targets, such as revenue and shipment targets, for a particular quarter. In addition, cyber-attacks, acts of terrorism, or other geo-political unrest could cause disruptions in our business or the business of our supply chain, manufacturers, logistics providers, partners, or end-customers or the economy as a whole. Any disruption in the business of our supply chain, manufacturers, logistics providers, partners or end-customers that impacts sales at the end of a fiscal quarter could have a significant adverse impact on our quarterly results. All of the aforementioned risks may be further increased if the disaster recovery plans for us and our suppliers prove to be inadequate. To the extent that any of the above should result in delays or cancellations of customer orders, or the delay in the manufacture, deployment or shipment of our products, our business, financial condition and operating results would be adversely affected.

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