Fortinet, Inc. (FTNT) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research
Fortinet, Inc. (NASDAQ:FTNT) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has a $44.00 target price on the software maker’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would suggest a potential upside of 11.39% from the stock’s current price.
According to Zacks, “Fortinet reported better-than-expected third-quarter 2017 results. The year over year comparisons were also favorable on both the counts. Notably, Fortinet has outperformed the industry on YTD basis. 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 five 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 Q4 guidance and downbeat revenue outlook for full year makes us slightly cautious about its near-term performance.”
Several other research firms have also weighed in on FTNT. Evercore ISI set a $38.00 target price on shares of Fortinet and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Dougherty & Co upped their target price on shares of Fortinet from $46.00 to $48.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Robert W. Baird set a $50.00 target price on shares of Fortinet and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. BMO Capital Markets lowered their target price on shares of Fortinet from $46.00 to $45.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Friday. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $46.00 target price on shares of Fortinet in a report on Friday. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, sixteen have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $44.00.
Shares of Fortinet (FTNT) traded down 0.15% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $39.44. 734,549 shares of the company traded hands. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $38.50 and its 200 day moving average is $38.50. The stock has a market capitalization of $6.93 billion, a PE ratio of 108.05 and a beta of 1.01. Fortinet has a 52-week low of $28.50 and a 52-week high of $41.56.
Fortinet (NASDAQ:FTNT) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The software maker reported $0.28 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.23 by $0.05. Fortinet had a net margin of 5.93% and a return on equity of 10.92%. The business had revenue of $374.20 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $370.67 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.18 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 18.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts anticipate that Fortinet will post $1.02 earnings per share for the current year.
Fortinet announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase plan on Wednesday, July 26th that permits the company to repurchase $300.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the software maker to purchase up to 4.2% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.
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In related news, Director Christopher B. Paisley sold 4,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $36.39, for a total value of $145,560.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 66,611 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,423,974.29. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, VP John Whittle sold 2,091 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $36.27, for a total transaction of $75,840.57. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 7,181 shares in the company, valued at $260,454.87. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 9,558 shares of company stock worth $348,406 over the last quarter. 17.00% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in FTNT. Wellington Management Group LLP raised its position in shares of Fortinet by 90.4% in the 1st quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 14,333 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $550,000 after acquiring an additional 6,805 shares during the period. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its holdings in Fortinet by 13.5% during the 1st quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 426,986 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $16,375,000 after buying an additional 50,922 shares during the period. State Street Corp raised its holdings in Fortinet by 2.7% during the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 4,449,413 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $170,638,000 after buying an additional 118,681 shares during the period. Gotham Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in Fortinet during the 1st quarter worth approximately $1,173,000. Finally, Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY raised its holdings in Fortinet by 1.0% during the 1st quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY now owns 144,563 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $5,544,000 after buying an additional 1,397 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 69.19% of the company’s stock.
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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