Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Fortinet (NASDAQ:FTNT) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Tuesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $52.00 price objective on the software maker’s stock.

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.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently commented on FTNT. Credit Suisse Group raised their price target on shares of Fortinet from $33.00 to $37.00 and gave the stock an underperform rating in a report on Tuesday, February 6th. BMO Capital Markets raised their price target on shares of Fortinet from $45.00 to $50.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a report on Tuesday, February 6th. Evercore ISI set a $42.00 price target on shares of Fortinet and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Monday, February 5th. Robert W. Baird restated a buy rating and issued a $56.00 price target on shares of Fortinet in a report on Tuesday, February 6th. Finally, Barclays raised their price target on shares of Fortinet from $48.00 to $50.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a report on Tuesday, February 6th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating, fourteen have issued a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $47.67.

Shares of Fortinet (NASDAQ FTNT) opened at $48.12 on Tuesday. The company has a market cap of $8,082.88, a price-to-earnings ratio of 83.00, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.76 and a beta of 0.86. Fortinet has a twelve month low of $35.44 and a twelve month high of $48.16.

Fortinet (NASDAQ:FTNT) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Monday, February 5th. The software maker reported $0.32 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.29 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $416.70 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $409.04 million. Fortinet had a net margin of 2.10% and a return on equity of 11.77%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 14.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.30 earnings per share. equities research analysts forecast that Fortinet will post 0.74 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Fortinet declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase plan on Thursday, October 26th that allows the company to buyback $400.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization allows the software maker to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, CEO Ken Xie sold 89,423 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $45.08, for a total transaction of $4,031,188.84. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 12,608,811 shares in the company, valued at $568,405,199.88. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP Michael Xie sold 40,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated 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 transaction, the vice president now owns 6,692,200 shares in the company, valued at $280,737,790. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 208,967 shares of company stock valued at $9,357,590 over the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 17.00% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in FTNT. Alyeska Investment Group L.P. purchased a new position in Fortinet during the third quarter worth about $14,293,000. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. boosted its holdings in Fortinet by 20.8% during the third quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 1,795,700 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $64,358,000 after purchasing an additional 309,000 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its holdings in Fortinet by 8.6% during the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 3,752,012 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $134,472,000 after purchasing an additional 296,648 shares during the last quarter. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. boosted its holdings in Fortinet by 179.4% during the third quarter. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. now owns 450,252 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $16,135,000 after purchasing an additional 289,086 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Ameriprise Financial Inc. boosted its holdings in Fortinet by 7.0% during the third quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 4,400,011 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $157,693,000 after purchasing an additional 288,097 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 70.68% of the company’s stock.

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About Fortinet

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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