Fortinet, Inc. (FTNT) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Fortinet, Inc. (NASDAQ:FTNT) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday, October 31st. Zacks Investment Research currently has $44.00 price objective on the software maker’s stock.

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.”

FTNT has been the topic of a number of other research reports. UBS AG increased their price target on shares of Fortinet from $46.00 to $47.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Friday, October 27th. Cowen and Company reiterated a buy rating and set a $43.00 price target on shares of Fortinet in a report on Friday, July 28th. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a buy rating and set a $50.00 price target on shares of Fortinet in a report on Thursday, October 12th. Robert W. Baird set a $50.00 price target on shares of Fortinet and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, Evercore ISI set a $38.00 price target on shares of Fortinet and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating, fifteen have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $44.26.

Fortinet (NASDAQ:FTNT) opened at $40.31 on Tuesday. Fortinet has a one year low of $28.50 and a one year high of $41.56. The firm has a market cap of $7,009.92, a P/E ratio of 73.29, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.97 and a beta of 0.91.

Fortinet (NASDAQ:FTNT) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The software maker reported $0.28 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.23 by $0.05. Fortinet had a net margin of 5.93% and a return on equity of 10.92%. The business had revenue of $374.20 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $370.67 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.18 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 18.2% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts predict that Fortinet will post 0.48 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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Fortinet announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback plan on Wednesday, July 26th that permits the company to buyback $300.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the software maker to repurchase up to 4.2% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In other Fortinet news, VP Michael Xie sold 3,585 shares of Fortinet stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $38.60, for a total value of $138,381.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 6,714,500 shares in the company, valued at approximately $259,179,700. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Keith Jensen sold 1,850 shares of Fortinet stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $39.20, for a total transaction of $72,520.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 1,374 shares in the company, valued at $53,860.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 19,942 shares of company stock worth $787,129 over the last 90 days. Insiders own 17.00% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of FTNT. Voya Investment Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Fortinet by 934.3% in the 2nd quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 1,880,328 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $70,399,000 after buying an additional 1,698,526 shares in the last quarter. ETF Managers Group LLC purchased a new position in shares of Fortinet in the 2nd quarter worth $40,680,000. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in shares of Fortinet by 6.6% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 14,047,819 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $525,953,000 after buying an additional 870,061 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC grew its stake in shares of Fortinet by 19.1% in the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 4,521,700 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $169,292,000 after buying an additional 726,300 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Pictet Asset Management Ltd. grew its stake in shares of Fortinet by 66.3% in the 2nd quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 1,486,700 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $58,487,000 after buying an additional 592,600 shares in the last quarter. 68.44% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Fortinet

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.

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