In what may have been one of the easiest technology trades this year, the cybersecurity stocks that have taken a beating this summer have been reporting big numbers this week, and investors are re-entering the stocks at a furious pace.
In new research reports, Merrill Lynch analysts are very bullish on the prospects for the top cybersecurity software stocks, and with good reason. Whether it is the federal government, major U.S. and foreign corporations, the military or even sports teams, secure databases are being hacked and compromised at a furious pace, and protection is a must.
Check Point Software Technology
This company kicked off the cybersecurity software earnings with a bang this week. Check Point Software Technology Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHKP) is the top information technology (IT) name on the Merrill Lynch US 1 list, and on Wednesday reported second-quarter earnings that topped Wall Street estimates amid increasing demand for threat-prevention and mobile-security products. The Internet security provider reported a 9% year-over-year increase in second-quarter revenue to $395 million. Earnings per share (EPS) excluding items rose 11% to $0.99. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected EPS minus items of $0.95 and $392.5 million in revenue. An outstanding quarter by any measure.
Checkpoint is the largest pure-play security vendor globally, provides industry-leading solutions and protects customers from cyberattacks with an unmatched catch rate of malware and other types of attacks. Check Point offers a complete security architecture, defending enterprise networks to mobile devices, in addition to the most comprehensive and intuitive security management. Check Point protects more than 100,000 organizations of all sizes.
The Merrill Lynch price target for the stock is $94, and the Thomson/First Call consensus target is set at $92.43. The stock closed Thursday at $84.10.