Shares of Check Point Software Technologies (CHKP -0.12%) have been on a tear this year, rising more than 33% thanks to impressive quarterly performances and the growing demand for cybersecurity solutions stoked in part by recent hacking attacks. The cybersecurity specialist will look to extend its momentum when it releases its fiscal 2017 second-quarter results on July 20. Here's what investors can expect from the company.
Wall Street expects Check Point Software's revenue to have grown 7.5% year over year, to $454.5 million, during the second quarter, while its earnings per share (EPS) are expected to have gone from $1.09 per share to $1.22 per share. Bottom-line growth outpacing top-line growth would not be surprising as Check Point focuses on keeping costs low to enhance earnings and cash flow.
Wall Street's average second-quarter estimates sit withing Check Point's own guidance. The company had forecast that it would pull in $440 million to $465 million in revenue during the second quarter and earn between $1.17 and $1.25 per share. Analyst believe that the cybersecurity specialist is capable of outperforming the midpoint of these estimates by a whisker, and it won't be surprising if the company delivers on this count.
In my opinion, recent hacker attacks should give cybersecurity companies more business. Some estimates say the WannaCry ransomware attack a couple of months ago may have led to at least $4 billion in losses as it affected computers in around 150 countries, which would be up from estimates of $1.5 billion in financial losses last year. Corporate and government entities can be expected to ramp up their spending on cybersecurity solutions.
This could have a positive impact on Check Point's outlook, which is going to play a crucial role in sustaining its rally on the stock market.
What about the outlook
The number of high-value deals being made by Check Point is increasing. The company saw a 16% year-over-year jump in the number of $1 million-plus deals during the first quarter of 2017 -- putting the number at 50 compared to 43 in the year-ago quarter -- by selling more subscriptions of its advanced threat-protection packages that carry a higher selling price.
Check Point could land more high-value deals during the second quarter since it's been reported that none of its clients were compromised by the WannaCry attack.
This could help Check Point Software gain some customers over other cybersecurity specialists in the ransomware protection market, which could be worth $17.3 billion by 2021 as compared to just over $8 billion in 2016, as per estimates from MarketsandMarkets.
Another advantage that Check Point enjoys is that its selling and marketing expenses are very low when compared to other cybersecurity companies. The company's selling and marketing outlay jumped 16% year over year during the first quarter, but it still accounts for just 24% of its total revenue. By comparison, FireEye and others companies like it spend more than half of their revenue on customer acquisition.
Check Point also has the ability to bump its marketing expenses to steal market share from its rivals given its cash hoard of almost $1.5 billion and no debt. Not surprisingly, analysts expect the company's top-line growth to be higher in the third quarter as compared to the second quarter's projected growth at 8.3% year over year.
Investors can expect a strong quarterly performance and upbeat guidance from Check Point Software Technologies given the growing traction of its subscription services and its ability to spend more marketing dollars.