Zacks Investment Research Lowers Fortinet (NASDAQ:FTNT) to Hold
Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Fortinet (NASDAQ:FTNT) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports. The firm currently has $123.00 target price on the software maker’s stock.
According to Zacks, “Fortinet is benefiting from solid growth in Fortinet Security Fabric, cloud and SD-WAN offerings. Moreover, continued deal wins, especially those of high value, are a key driver. Higher IT spending on cybersecurity is further expected to aid Fortinet to grow faster than the security market. Also, focus on enhancing its UTM portfolio through product development and acquisitions is a tailwind for Fortinet. Bullish guidance for the fourth quarter and the full year are expected to buoy investors’ confidence in the stock. Estimates have been stable lately ahead of Fortinet's Q4 earnings release. Shares have outperformed the industry in the past year. However, competition from numerous big and small players in the security application market poses a concern. Moreover, increasing consolidation in the security industry is intensifying competition.”
FTNT has been the topic of a number of other reports. BMO Capital Markets increased their price objective on shares of Fortinet to $115.00 and gave the company a market perform rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 20th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Fortinet from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 7th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $111.00 price target on shares of Fortinet and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Friday, November 1st. Evercore ISI set a $90.00 price target on shares of Fortinet and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Monday, November 4th. Finally, FBN Securities restated an outperform rating on shares of Fortinet in a research report on Monday, November 18th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have given a hold rating, twelve have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $108.96.
Fortinet (NASDAQ:FTNT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 31st. The software maker reported $0.67 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.56 by $0.11. Fortinet had a net margin of 19.23% and a return on equity of 25.46%. The firm had revenue of $547.50 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $533.55 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.49 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 20.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts forecast that Fortinet will post 1.62 EPS for the current year.
In related news, EVP John Whittle sold 12,280 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $100.00, for a total value of $1,228,000.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 15,442 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,544,200. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, VP Michael Xie sold 100,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $103.66, for a total transaction of $10,366,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 6,306,828 shares in the company, valued at approximately $653,765,790.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 117,961 shares of company stock worth $12,193,482. Corporate insiders own 17.20% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Fortinet in the 4th quarter worth about $32,000. Allred Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in Fortinet during the 4th quarter valued at about $38,000. Lenox Wealth Advisors LLC increased its stake in Fortinet by 63.7% during the 4th quarter. Lenox Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 501 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $53,000 after buying an additional 195 shares during the period. CENTRAL TRUST Co acquired a new position in Fortinet during the 3rd quarter valued at about $45,000. Finally, Valeo Financial Advisors LLC increased its stake in Fortinet by 46.6% during the 4th quarter. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC now owns 692 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $74,000 after buying an additional 220 shares during the period. 69.93% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Fortinet Company Profile
Fortinet, Inc provides broad, integrated, and automated cybersecurity solutions worldwide. It offers FortiGate hardware and software licenses that provide various security and networking functions, including firewall, intrusion prevention, anti-malware, virtual private network, application control, Web filtering, anti-spam, and wide area network acceleration; FortiSandbox technology that delivers proactive detection and mitigation services; and FortiSIEM family of software solutions, which offers a cloud-ready security information and event management solutions.
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