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 firm currently has a $44.00 price objective on the software maker’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would indicate a potential upside of 11.65% from the stock’s previous close.

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.”

A number of other brokerages have also recently commented on FTNT. ValuEngine cut Fortinet from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, July 28th. KeyCorp reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $46.00 target price on shares of Fortinet in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $46.00 target price on shares of Fortinet in a report on Thursday, October 5th. Cowen and Company reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $43.00 target price on shares of Fortinet in a report on Friday, September 8th. Finally, BidaskClub raised Fortinet from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, July 13th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, sixteen have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $44.00.

Fortinet (NASDAQ:FTNT) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The software maker reported $0.28 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.23 by $0.05. Fortinet had a return on equity of 10.92% and a net margin of 5.93%. The company had revenue of $374.20 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $370.67 million. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.18 EPS. Fortinet’s revenue for the quarter was up 18.2% compared to the same quarter last year.

Fortinet declared that its board has approved a stock buyback program on Wednesday, July 26th that authorizes the company to repurchase $300.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the software maker to buy up to 4.2% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

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In related news, insider Keith Jensen sold 1,850 shares of Fortinet stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.47, for a total value of $67,469.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 1,315 shares in the company, valued at $47,958.05. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. In the last quarter, insiders sold 3,467 shares of company stock valued at $127,005. 16.40% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. D.A. Davidson & CO. grew its position in Fortinet by 1.1% in the second quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. now owns 10,364 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $388,000 after acquiring an additional 114 shares in the last quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. boosted its position in shares of Fortinet by 1.4% during the second quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 13,582 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $509,000 after buying an additional 190 shares during the period. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Fortinet by 2.7% during the second quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC now owns 7,492 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $288,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the period. TRUE Private Wealth Advisors boosted its position in shares of Fortinet by 3.4% during the second quarter. TRUE Private Wealth Advisors now owns 6,457 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $241,000 after buying an additional 211 shares during the period. Finally, Fisher Asset Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Fortinet by 0.8% during the second quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 31,427 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $1,177,000 after buying an additional 252 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 69.19% of the company’s stock.

Fortinet Company Profile

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Fortinet (NASDAQ:FTNT)

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