Fortinet, Inc. (FTNT) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Fortinet, Inc. (NASDAQ:FTNT) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Tuesday, July 4th.
According to Zacks, “Fortinet is a provider of network security appliances and Unified Threat Management (UTM) network security solutions. The stock has outperformed the broader market on YTD basis. Despite persistent macro uncertainties, management seems to be positive on the back of a healthy network security market, solid product line-up and investment plans. 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, competition from key network security players such as Cisco Systems, Check Point, Juniper and Palo Alto Networks, remains a concern.”
Several other analysts have also commented on the company. Northland Securities assumed coverage on Fortinet in a research note on Thursday, June 29th. They issued an outperform rating and a $45.00 price target on the stock. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reaffirmed an outperform rating and issued a $45.00 price target on shares of Fortinet in a research note on Thursday, June 22nd. Monness Crespi & Hardt began coverage on Fortinet in a research note on Wednesday, June 14th. They issued a buy rating and a $45.00 price objective on the stock. Susquehanna Bancshares Inc began coverage on Fortinet in a research note on Wednesday, June 7th. They issued a neutral rating and a $45.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, ValuEngine raised Fortinet from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating, twenty have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Fortinet presently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $41.56.
Fortinet (NASDAQ FTNT) traded up 1.21% during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $36.84. 3,206,572 shares of the company traded hands. The firm has a market capitalization of $6.47 billion, a PE ratio of 100.93 and a beta of 1.02. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $38.63 and its 200 day moving average price is $37.78. Fortinet has a 12 month low of $28.50 and a 12 month high of $41.56.
Fortinet (NASDAQ:FTNT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The software maker reported $0.27 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.20 by $0.07. The business had revenue of $363.50 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $361.05 million. Fortinet had a return on equity of 9.36% and a net margin of 4.71%. Fortinet’s quarterly revenue was up 16.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.14 EPS. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Fortinet will post $0.95 earnings per share for the current year.
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Fortinet declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, July 26th that authorizes the company to buyback $300.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the software maker to purchase up to 4.2% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
In related news, insider Keith Jensen sold 1,850 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $39.42, for a total transaction of $72,927.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 1,254 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $49,432.68. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. 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 value of $75,840.57. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 7,181 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $260,454.87. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 13,308 shares of company stock valued at $506,096 over the last three months. Insiders own 16.40% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Teachers Advisors LLC raised its stake in Fortinet by 440.2% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 656,181 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $19,764,000 after buying an additional 534,706 shares in the last quarter. Clinton Group Inc. acquired a new stake in Fortinet during the first quarter valued at about $888,000. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Fortinet by 5.0% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 11,887,371 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $455,881,000 after buying an additional 563,667 shares in the last quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System raised its stake in Fortinet by 3.3% in the first quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System now owns 37,600 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $1,442,000 after buying an additional 1,200 shares in the last quarter. Finally, KBC Group NV raised its stake in Fortinet by 313.5% in the first quarter. KBC Group NV now owns 53,945 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $2,069,000 after buying an additional 40,899 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.85% 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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