Cyber security firm Check Point keeps 2023 outlook after Q1 beat

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(Reuters) – Check Point Software Technologies (CHKP.O) reported on Monday higher than expected first-quarter profit on high demand for its products in the face of increasing cyber attacks, and kept its outlook for the full year.

The Israeli-based company cited solid growth over the first three months of the year from its consolidated cyber security platform that prevents attacks across networks, mobile and the cloud.

It maintained its 2023 revenue estimate of $2.34-$2.51 billion and earnings per share excluding one-time items of $7.70-$8.30 – versus analysts’ expectations of revenue of $2.43 billion and adjusted EPS of $7.98. Revenue in 2022 reached $2.33 billion.

Its Nasdaq-listed shares fell 5.2% at $120.80 in early trading on the outlook as some in the market were expecting a more upbeat outlook.

Chief executive Gil Shwed said that in the face of a “challenging” market that began last November, demand for security remained high due to the increasing number and sophistication of cyber attacks.

He said that some customers were not rushing to refresh products and start new projects but despite this, “we managed to win many other projects” and grow cloud operations and subscriptions.

Check Point’s security subscription revenue rose 13% to $228 million. Its consolidated Infinity platform grew 140% in the quarter. In February, it launched a new artificial intelligence-based threat prevention product.

“The renewal rates we have and recurring business are very healthy,” Shwed told an analysts call before saying he was concerned about tightening spending across the marketplace.

For the second quarter, Check Point projected revenue of $570-$605 million and adjusted EPS of $1.85-$1.95. Analysts had forecast EPS of $1.88 on revenue of $596 million.

Check Point said it earned $1.80 per diluted share excluding one-off items in the January-March period, up 15% from $1.57 a year earlier. Revenue grew 4% to $566 million.

It was forecast to earn $1.74 a share on revenue of $569 million, according to I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv.

Shwed noted that with $3.6 billion in cash, the company was poised to take advantage of the industry’s consolidation.

Check Point said it bought back 2.6 million shares in the quarter, worth $325 million, as part of its ongoing $2 billion share repurchase programme.

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