F5 forecasts weak annual revenue on sluggish IT spending

(Reuters) - Cybersecurity and cloud services company F5 on Tuesday forecast fiscal 2024 revenue below Wall Street estimates, signaling that businesses were tightening tech spending amid an uncertain economic outlook.

The company has transitioned to a model that prioritizes software and subscription services but sluggish IT spending has proved a roadblock.

Big IT players like Accenture have also flagged weakness in the sector as borrowing costs rise and inflation remains sticky.

F5 forecast full-year revenue would range from flat to a low-single-digit percentage decline, compared with fiscal 2023.

Analysts expect a growth of 0.8%, according to LSEG data.

Shares of the company fell 0.5% after the bell.

For the first quarter, it forecast revenue in the range of $675 million to $695 million, slightly below estimates of $695.8 million.

It expects earnings per share of $2.97 to $3.09, compared with estimates of $3.03.

The company, which provides software and hardware that supports applications over the internet, said its quarterly revenue grew 1% to $707 million, compared with estimates of $701.4 million.

On an adjusted basis, it earned $3.50 per share, above expectations for $3.21.

(Reporting by Zaheer Kachwala in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)