Nomura Dives in on FireEye Inc (FEYE) in Wake of Founder Ashar Aziz’s Resignation

Yesterday, FireEye Inc (NASDAQ:FEYE) dropped the announcement that its founder, Ashar Aziz, resigned from his position on the Board of Directors, where he had served since founding FireEye in February 2004, effective immediately as of August 31st. Management notes this was not on the heels of any internal conflict.

Nomura analyst Frederick Grieb believes this could bode well for the company, reiterating a Buy rating on shares of FEYE with a $22.50 price target, which represents just under a 44% increase from where the stock is currently trading.

From Grieb’s perspective, while investors might perceive this departure as “an incremental negative,” the analyst recognizes an opportunity that could prove to be a point positive for the cybersecurity software maker. Grieb contends, “With the loss of the company’s founder, we believe this could position FireEye as a more willing seller. The APT market is becoming crowded, and given the company’s operating losses and a very specialized product, we believe that FireEye may look to evaluate its strategic options more readily.”

“FireEye is a technology and market leader in a very strategic portion of the security market. The company expects cash from operations to remain in the red for FY’16, as a reduction in the company’s billings forecast and the cash impact from restructuring charges negatively affect cash flow. We believe the company will be able to attain operating leverage and outsized uFCF in the midterm. Still, we view FireEye’s valuation as undemanding […],” he concludes.

Though Grieb understands this newest leadership change might rattle FEYE’s picture of “stability,” he ultimately remains bullish moving forward.

According to TipRanks, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, five-star analyst Frederick Grieb is ranked #149 out of 4,147 analysts. Grieb has a 73% success rate and garners 12.5% in his yearly returns. When recommending FEYE, Grieb earns 15.8% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics demonstrate FEYE as a Hold. Based on 14 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 3 rate a Buy on FEYE, while 11 maintain a Hold. The 12-month price target stands at $17.14, marking a nearly 10% upside from where the shares last closed. Screen Shot 09-08-16 at 03.01 PM


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