Fortinet Snaps Up Cloud Security Provider OPAQ Networks

Cybersecurity stock Fortinet (FTNT) has announced that it has snapped up OPAQ Networks, a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) cloud provider based in Herndon, Virginia.  Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

OPAQ’s Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) cloud solution protects organizations’ distributed networks – from data centers, to branch offices, to remote users, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

“The recent SASE market momentum further validates our Security-driven Networking approach and underscores what we’ve been saying for years. In this era of hyperconnectivity and expanding networks; with the network edge stretching across the entire digital infrastructure, networking and security must converge” comments Ken Xie, Founder, Chairman of the Board, and CEO.

According to Xie, the acquisition of OPAQ further enhances Fortinet’s existing SASE offering, enabling Fortinet to deliver the most complete SASE platform on the market.

“The Fortinet SASE platform delivers the broadest security and industry-leading SD-WAN and networking offerings that can all be delivered to customers and partners through a flexible, cost efficient and patented zero-trust cloud architecture” he continued.

Shares in Fortinet have surged 26% year-to-date, and the stock shows a cautiously optimistic Moderate Buy Street consensus. However, due to the recent rally, the average analyst price target of $134 is now flat with the current share price. (See FTNT stock analysis on TipRanks).

Indeed, the rally prompted a recent downgrade from Goldman Sachs analyst Brian Essex, who explained that the risk/reward ratio is more balanced at current levels. He now has a hold rating on the stock, but boosted his price target from $129 to $140.

Oppenheimer’s Shaul Eyal is sticking to his buy rating and $160 price target. “The global pandemic is beginning to reflect anecdotal signs of longer sale cycles in select situations and longer IT approval processes” he noted, but added: “Positively, FTNT is often cited as mission critical to an enterprise’s security infrastructure.”

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