Fortinet (NASDAQ:FTNT) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has a $52.00 price target on the software maker’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price points to a potential upside of 7.48% from the stock’s current price.
According to Zacks, “Fortinet reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter 2017 results. The year over year comparisons were also favorable on both the counts. Notably, Fortinet has outperformed the industry in the last one year. Going ahead, we believe that the company’s strategy of focusing on selling subscription-based services will enable it to generate more stable revenues and help in expanding margins. Furthermore, acquisitions are a major positive for Fortinet as these help it to strengthen its product portfolio and capabilities, thereby boosting its top-line performance. Nonetheless, we are slightly concerned over the company’s declining revenue growth rate. Notably, over the last six quarters, the company’s revenue growth rates have been around 20%, which are significantly lower than its previous rates of over 30%. Also, a tepid first quarter revenue outlook makes us slightly cautious about its near-term performance.”
Several other research firms have also recently weighed in on FTNT. KeyCorp reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $46.00 price objective on shares of Fortinet in a research report on Tuesday, October 24th. Robert W. Baird boosted their price objective on Fortinet from $50.00 to $56.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 11th. Credit Suisse Group boosted their price objective on Fortinet from $33.00 to $37.00 and gave the stock an “underperform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, February 6th. Barclays cut Fortinet from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and boosted their price objective for the stock from $45.00 to $48.00 in a research report on Tuesday, January 9th. Finally, Raymond James Financial reissued a “market perform” rating on shares of Fortinet in a research report on Friday, January 26th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating, thirteen have given a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $47.67.
Fortinet (NASDAQ:FTNT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Monday, February 5th. The software maker reported $0.32 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.29 by $0.03. Fortinet had a return on equity of 11.77% and a net margin of 2.10%. The business had revenue of $416.70 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $409.04 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.30 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 14.9% on a year-over-year basis. analysts anticipate that Fortinet will post 0.74 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Fortinet announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback plan on Thursday, October 26th that permits the company to repurchase $400.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the software maker to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.
In related news, VP Michael Xie sold 40,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $41.95, for a total transaction of $1,678,000.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 6,692,200 shares in the company, valued at approximately $280,737,790. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO Ken Xie sold 89,423 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $45.08, for a total value of $4,031,188.84. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 12,608,811 shares in the company, valued at $568,405,199.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 208,967 shares of company stock worth $9,357,590. 16.40% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. LS Investment Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Fortinet by 8.2% during the 4th quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 16,168 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $706,000 after purchasing an additional 1,229 shares during the period. American Century Companies Inc. raised its stake in shares of Fortinet by 5.3% during the 4th quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 24,786 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $1,083,000 after purchasing an additional 1,244 shares during the period. Amalgamated Bank raised its stake in shares of Fortinet by 4.4% during the 4th quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 30,653 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $1,339,000 after purchasing an additional 1,287 shares during the period. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC grew its position in Fortinet by 28.7% during the third quarter. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 5,935 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $213,000 after buying an additional 1,325 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Nomura Holdings Inc. grew its position in Fortinet by 7.7% during the second quarter. Nomura Holdings Inc. now owns 19,592 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $734,000 after buying an additional 1,397 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 70.68% of the company’s stock.
Fortinet Company Profile
Fortinet, Inc is a network security company. The Company provides cyber security solutions to a range of enterprises, service providers and government organizations across the world. Its network security solution consists of FortiGate physical, virtual machine and cloud platforms, which provide integrated security and networking functions to protect data, applications and users from network-and content-level security threats.
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