Yesterday, Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ:CHKP) released financial results for the first quarter of 2015. The cyber security firm reported better-than-expected results, beating analysts’ estimates and pleasing investors.
Check Point posted quarterly revenue of $373 million, beating the analyst estimate of $370 million and marking a 9% year-over-year increase. The cyber security firm posted $0.95 earnings per share on a non-GAAP basis, beating the consensus of $0.91 and marking a 14% year-over-year increase. Looking forward, Check Point expects to post revenue between $380 million and $400 million and non-GAAP EPS in the range of $0.90 to $0.99.
Check Point CEO Gil Shwed commented, “We are very pleased with the results of the first quarter. We continued to see success in all major geographies.” Shwed added that Check Point has been investing in “threat prevention and mobility” as well as increasing “development, sales and marketing teams to capitalize on the expanding security market opportunity.” Shwed expects “these investments to continue through the coming quarters.”
In January, Check Point announced a 50% expansion in its share repurchase program, authorizing the company to increase the quarterly repurchase of its outstanding shares by 25%, up to $250 million. Check Point went on to re-purchase 3 million shares for $242 million.
Check Point acquired Hyperwise in February of this year. Hyperwise, an early-stage threat prevention engine, was purchased for $80 million. Check Point did not specify how Hyperwise would be integrated into the existing platform, but did mention that Hyperwise’s services would be used to bolster Check Point’s threat emulation system.
Earlier this month, Check Point acquired Lacoon Mobile Security for an undisclosed sum, but estimated to be $80 million. Lacoon’s proactive security platform works on iOS and Android devices and will bolster Check Point’s mobile security services.
In addition to making acquisitions, Check Point has been expanding its work force with plans to hire 600 employees to boost its research and development department. The company has already hired 200 new personnel this quarter. CEO Shwed told a news conference that he hopes to “grow at the same rate this quarter.”
On April 21, analyst Daniel Ives of FBR Capital reiterated a Buy rating on Check Point with a price target of $95. Ives commented, “It appears [Check Point] is hitting its stride as product innovation on the (software subscription) front coupled with a more acquisitive strategy are laying the groundwork for another strong year in 2015.” He added, “Cyber security tailwinds are massive and Check Point is at the right place at the right time.”
Daniel Ives has rated Check point 11 times since September 2009, earning an 89% success rate recommending the stock and a +20.6% average return per CHKP rating. Overall, Ives has a 61% success rate recommending stocks with a +9.0% average return per recommendation.
Separately on April 21, analyst Scott Zeller of Needham & Company reiterated a Buy rating on Check Point and raised his price target from $85 to $100. Zeller noted Check Point’s “strong” first quarter performance. He commented, “The climate for spending continues to be very strong for cyber security” and considers Check Point to be a “’survivor’ of the upheaval from PANW, FEYE and others that have been seeking to unseat veterans of the space.” Zeller concluded, “We believe CHKP will continue to benefit from increased spending on cyber budgets in IT, and we believe estimates may prove conservative.”
Scott Zeller has only rated Check Point twice before, earning a 50% success rate recommending the cyber security firm. Overall, Zeller has a 53% success rate recommending stocks with a +9.7% average return per rating.
On average, the top analyst consensus for Check Point on TipRanks is Moderate Buy.