Wall Street brokerages expect that Proofpoint Inc (NASDAQ:PFPT) will report earnings per share of $0.35 for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Ten analysts have provided estimates for Proofpoint’s earnings. The highest EPS estimate is $0.38 and the lowest is $0.34. Proofpoint reported earnings of $0.29 per share in the same quarter last year, which would indicate a positive year over year growth rate of 20.7%. The firm is scheduled to announce its next earnings report after the market closes on Thursday, January 31st.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Proofpoint will report full-year earnings of $1.32 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $1.29 to $1.38. For the next year, analysts anticipate that the firm will post earnings of $1.65 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $1.57 to $1.81. Zacks Investment Research’s earnings per share averages are an average based on a survey of analysts that cover Proofpoint.

Proofpoint (NASDAQ:PFPT) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The software maker reported $0.40 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of ($0.33) by $0.73. The firm had revenue of $184.18 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $181.69 million. Proofpoint had a negative return on equity of 11.86% and a negative net margin of 14.08%.

Several equities research analysts have issued reports on the company. Robert W. Baird restated an “outperform” rating on shares of Proofpoint in a report on Thursday, October 18th. Deutsche Bank lowered their price target on Proofpoint to $125.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Monday, October 1st. Morgan Stanley set a $134.00 price target on Proofpoint and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, October 19th. Wedbush reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $136.00 price target (up from $124.00) on shares of Proofpoint in a report on Tuesday, October 23rd. Finally, First Analysis downgraded Proofpoint from a “strong-buy” rating to an “outperform” rating and lowered their price target for the company from $150.00 to $110.00 in a report on Friday, October 26th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and twenty-two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $121.68.

In related news, CEO Gary Steele sold 50,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $95.00, for a total transaction of $4,750,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 152,577 shares in the company, valued at approximately $14,494,815. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. 3.37% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Federated Investors Inc. PA grew its stake in Proofpoint by 181.1% during the 2nd quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 1,386 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $160,000 after buying an additional 893 shares during the last quarter. HRT Financial LLC bought a new position in Proofpoint during the 3rd quarter worth $221,000. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. bought a new position in Proofpoint during the 3rd quarter worth $256,000. Calamos Advisors LLC bought a new position in Proofpoint during the 3rd quarter worth $305,000. Finally, Tower Research Capital LLC TRC grew its stake in Proofpoint by 17,382.4% during the 2nd quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 2,972 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $343,000 after buying an additional 2,955 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 97.61% of the company’s stock.

Proofpoint stock opened at $95.61 on Tuesday. The company has a market cap of $5.11 billion, a P/E ratio of -72.98 and a beta of 1.48. Proofpoint has a one year low of $75.92 and a one year high of $130.27.

About Proofpoint

Proofpoint, Inc operates as a security-as-a-service (SaaS) provider that enables large and mid-sized organizations to defend, protect, archive, and govern their sensitive data worldwide. It offers protection against advanced and targeted threats, including malicious attachments, polymorphic threats, zero-day exploits, user-transparent ‘drive-by' downloads, malicious Web links, hybrid threats, malware free attacks, and other penetration tactics.

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