Fortinet, Inc. (NASDAQ:FTNT) Downgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Fortinet, Inc. (NASDAQ:FTNT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday, October 17th.

According to Zacks, “Estimates for the network security solution provider, Fortinet have remained stable of late. A look at Fortinet’s YTD price performance shows that the company has outperformed the industry to which it belongs to. 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 four quarters, the company’s revenue growth rates have been around 20%, which are significantly lower than its previous rates of over 30%.”

A number of other equities analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. OTR Global raised shares of Fortinet to a “positive” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 5th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $50.00 price target on shares of Fortinet and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, August 25th. Credit Suisse Group started coverage on shares of Fortinet in a research note on Tuesday, September 5th. They issued an “underperform” rating and a $33.00 price target for the company. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $45.00 price target on shares of Fortinet in a research note on Thursday, June 22nd. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reissued a “buy” rating and set a $46.00 target price on shares of Fortinet in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating, sixteen have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Fortinet presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $44.00.

Shares of Fortinet (FTNT) traded up $0.16 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $39.18. 713,103 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,670,000. Fortinet has a 1 year low of $28.50 and a 1 year high of $41.56. The firm has a market capitalization of $6,900.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 70.93, a P/E/G ratio of 4.81 and a beta of 0.91.

Fortinet (NASDAQ:FTNT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The software maker reported $0.28 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.23 by $0.05. Fortinet had a net margin of 5.93% and a return on equity of 10.92%. The company had revenue of $374.20 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $370.67 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.18 earnings per share. Fortinet’s revenue was up 18.2% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts forecast that Fortinet will post 0.48 earnings per share for the current year.

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

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In other news, CAO Keith Jensen sold 950 shares of Fortinet stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $36.67, for a total transaction of $34,836.50. Following the sale, the chief accounting officer now owns 1,315 shares in the company, valued at $48,221.05. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, VP Michael Xie sold 3,585 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $38.60, for a total transaction of $138,381.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 6,714,500 shares in the company, valued at approximately $259,179,700. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 7,052 shares of company stock worth $265,386. 17.00% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. First Mercantile Trust Co. bought a new position in Fortinet during the second quarter valued at $136,000. GLG Partners LP bought a new position in Fortinet during the second quarter valued at $145,000. NEXT Financial Group Inc increased its position in Fortinet by 17,296.0% during the second quarter. NEXT Financial Group Inc now owns 4,349 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $163,000 after acquiring an additional 4,324 shares during the last quarter. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC increased its position in Fortinet by 67.3% during the second quarter. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 4,610 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $173,000 after acquiring an additional 1,855 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Greenwood Capital Associates LLC bought a new position in Fortinet during the second quarter valued at $209,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 69.38% 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.

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