January 30, 2019 / 10:08 AM / 22 days ago

Check Point Software sees $2 billion in 2019 revenue, fourth-quarter profit gains

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Network security provider Check Point Software Technologies said it could reach $2 billion in revenue in 2019 after posting fourth quarter that profit beat expectations on higher security subscriptions.

FILE PHOTO - The logo of network security provider Check Point Software Technologies Ltd is seen at their headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israel August 14, 2016. Picture taken August 14, 2016. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Check Point forecast revenue this year of $1.94 billion to $2.04 billion, up from $1.92 billion in 2018, the Israeli-based company said on Wednesday.

“Cloud, mobile and advanced threat prevention are the three main (growth) drivers,” Chief Executive Gil Shwed told reporters adding he hoped revenue would hit the $2 billion milestone.

Its cloud business is expected to increase further this year after the late 2018 purchase of Dome9, which enables security and compliance for rapid public cloud adoption.

Shwed noted that sales of its mobile security products are currently small but growing.

“This was a rock solid quarter as the company is firing on all cylinders with cyber security spending accelerating into 2019,” said Daniel Ives, managing director of equity research at Wedbush Securities.

The company, he said, “has a massive installed base and the company is now going on the offensive with an organic and acquisitive product strategy that will fuel the next chapter of growth.”

Shwed noted that spending on cyber rose 11 percent in 2018 but one-third of consumers globally still lost data, blaming companies for not being protected properly for the current generation of attacks.

He said firms, who find cyber offerings complex, are protected for the type of attacks seen more than a decade ago.

Check Point also estimated 2019 earnings per share excluding one-time items of $5.85 to $6.25.

Analysts on average expect 2019 revenue of $1.99 billion and EPS of $6.05, according to Refinitiv I/B/E/S.

Shares in the company slipped 0.6 percent in early trading in New York.

Check Point earned $1.68 per diluted share excluding one-time items in the fourth quarter, up from $1.58 a year earlier. Revenue grew 4 percent to a record $526 million. It was forecast to earn $1.63 a share on revenue of $517.4 million.

“Our security subscriptions business continued to increase, driven by cloud, mobile and zero-day advanced threat prevention technologies,” Shwed said, noting the firm started 2019 with two new appliances and a new product line.

Some 70 percent of Check Point’s revenue comes from subscriptions.

Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Keith Weir

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