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Q4 Earnings: The Cybersecurity Report Card

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Q4 Earnings: The Cybersecurity Report Card
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The cybersecurity space, which is dominated by Israel-bred companies, ringed in a mixed performance for the calendar year fourth quarter. There were hits and misses, and accordingly, there were up and down moves in their respective stocks. The mixed showing comes despite the geopolitical environment proving conducive to the sector, as cybersecurity remains a raging issue amid security breaches.

Reflecting the mixed fortunes of the sector, the First Trust NASDAQ Cybersecurity ETF (NASDAQ: CIBR) was up about just 3 percent in February, a month when majority of the companies in the space reported earnings. The PureFunds ISE Cyber Security ETF (NYSE: HACK) was up about 2.1 percent in the said period.

Related Link: This Tech Analyst Loves Cybersecurity Stocks in 2017

Palo Alto's Soft Top Line, Guidance Does It In

Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE: PANW) reported second-quarter non-GAAP earnings of $0.63 per share, up from $0.43 per share last year. Revenues rose 26 percent year-over-year to $422.6 million.

The earnings per share pipped past estimates by a penny, while revenues missed expectations.

The company touted that top line performance was a record but expressed disappointment that it hadn't hit the top end of its expectations due to some execution challenges. Subscription and support revenues accounted for 60 percent of the total, while product revenues accounted for the remainder. The former rose 54 percent compared to a 0.6 percent dip in the latter.

Gross margins expanded to 73.21 percent from 71.9 percent. Higher sales and marketing expenses led to the company reporting a wider loss on an operating basis.

For the third quarter, the company expects non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.54–$0.56, including a $0.04 investment in LightCyber, on revenues of $406 million to $416 million. The guidance was shy of estimates.

The company's shares plummeted 24.15 percent to $115.21 on Wednesday in reaction to the quarterly performance.

FireEye's Revenues Lacked Spark

FireEye Inc (NASDAQ: FEYE) reported its fourth-quarter results in early February, with an adjusted loss that was narrower than estimates, while revenues trailed expectations. More importantly, the company's first quarter revenue guidance missed expectations. The company also announced the departure of its Chairman David DeWalt and Chief Financial Officer Mike Berry.

Reacting to the earnings, the stock slumped 15.73 percent on Feb. 3.The stock has not found its feet since then and is currently roughly 15 percent from its pre-earnings level.

Fortinet's Fortified Showing

Fortinet Inc (NASDAQ: FTNT) reported fourth-quarter results after the market close on Feb. 2. The company reported earnings per share of $0.30, higher than the year-ago's earnings of $0.18, and the consensus estimate of $0.21. Revenues climbed to $362.8 million from the year-ago's $352.4 million. The top-line performance also beat the consensus estimate of $296.5 million.

The stock jumped 13.7 percent on Feb. 3 and has been trading above $37 since then.

Triple Strengths For Check Point Software

Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHKP), which released its fourth-quarter earnings report before the market open on Jan. 19, reported better than expected adjusted earnings and revenues. The better than expected results were attributed to strong performances by advanced threat prevention, mobile and cloud. The Israel-based company also issued upbeat guidance for 2017.

The stock jumped 7.5 percent on Jan. 19.

Among Others:

  • Cyberark Software Ltd (NASDAQ: CYBR) reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter adjusted earnings per share and revenues and issued upbeat first-quarter and full-year guidance.
  • Bigger peer Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ: SYMC), which recently acquired Lifelock Inc (NYSE: LOCK), reported above-consensus adjusted earnings per share for the third quarter. However, third-quarter revenues and the revenue guidance for the fourth quarter were lackluster.

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