William Blair Maintains Outperform On Imperva, As Anthony Bettencourt Is Appointed President & CEO

In a research report released yesterday, William Blair analyst Jonathan Ho maintained an Outperform rating on Imperva Inc. (NYSE:IMPV), on the heels of the news that Anthony Bettencourt has been appointed as the company’s president and CEO, replacing the company’s founder and current CEO, Shlomo Kramer. No price target was assigned.

Ho wrote, “We view this as a positive addition of complementary skills, given Mr. Bettencourt’s prior track record in building sales-and-marketing organizations. His primary focus has been scaling sales channel distribution. In our view, this appointment significantly improves one of the execution challenges that the company has faced in the past. It allows Imperva to enhance its capabilities through someone with experience in this area.” The analyst added, “We do not anticipate any leadership conflicts, as Mr. Bettencourt will clearly be operating the company on a day-to-day basis, with Mr. Kramer providing strategic input. We would also not read into this announcement anything regarding expectations for the September quarter. We view this appointment as a positive sign that the company is taking proactive steps to upgrade its management ranks.”

The analyst continued, “We view the company’s improving execution as an important step in reaccelerating growth in the business. In our opinion, the company has reset the bar for growth expectations to achievable levels while they work through the internal changes needed to improve execution. While we view 2014 as largely a transition year, we believe the company can correct many of the short-term issues that have plagued it over the past few years and that the datacenter security market remains a growth area.”

According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Jonathan Ho has a total average return of -4% and a 50% success rate. Ho is ranked #2787 out of 3250 analysts.

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