UPDATE 2-Sourcefire raises outlook as customers battle data leaks

Thu Nov 1, 2012 12:43pm EDT

* Expects fourth-quarter revenue $62 mln-$64.0 mln vs est $61.7 mln

* Forecasts fourth-quarter adj earnings $0.27-$0.29 per share vs est $0.28

* Expects full-year revenue $217.7 mln-$219.7 mln vs est $214.1 mln

* Forecasts full-year adj earnings $0.80 to $0.82 per share vs est $0.76

* Shares rise as much 19 percent

By Neha Alawadhi

Nov 1 (Reuters) - Sourcefire Inc raised its profit forecast for the full year as Internet data leaks fuel demand for its network security software from both government and corporate clients and its expansion into international markets begins to pay off.

The company's shares rose as much as 19 percent in morning trade on the Nasdaq on Thursday.

International revenue increased 69 percent from a year earlier and accounted for 30 percent of total revenue in the third quarter, the company said.

"That 30 percent number is trending up," Chief Financial Officer Todd Headley told Reuters.

The company's upbeat outlook is in contrast to those from rivals Check Point Software Technologies Ltd and Fortinet Inc, which have cut their forecasts on economic uncertainty.

Sourcefire expanded its distribution in the international markets ahead of its rivals, and this helped during the third quarter, William Blair & Co analyst Jonathan Ho said.

The company's international markets include Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America.

Sourcefire said it now expects to earn between 11 cents and 13 cents per share for the full year, on revenue of $217.7 million to $219.7 million.

On an adjusted basis, it expects a profit of between 80 cents and 82 cents per share.

Analysts were expecting adjusted earnings of 76 cents per share on revenue of $214.1 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

THIRD-QUARTER BEAT

Sourcefire, which makes software products that monitor network traffic for malicious activities, reported third-quarter results above estimates.

Over the past year, hackers have focused on stealing data from companies that supply parts to big defense contractors, financial firms and software companies.

The United States has advocated the need to strengthen defense against cyber attacks even as three of the country's top banks were targeted by Iranian hackers.

Revenue from U.S. federal government agencies increased 4 percent and from corporates rose 31 percent during the quarter.

Net income fell to $1.2 million, or 4 cents per share, in the third quarter, from $2.0 million, or 7 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding items, it earned 25 cents per share.

Revenue rose 30 percent to $58.8 million.

Analysts had expected earnings of 21 cents per share, on revenue of $55.8 million.

Sourcefire's Chief Executive John Burris stepped down on Oct. 2, and succumbed to colon cancer on Oct. 19.

Chief Technology Officer Martin Roesch is serving as interim CEO.

Shares of the company, valued at $2.15 billion, were trading up 13 percent at $48.33 in early afternoon trade.

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