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Why Imperva Inc. Stock Soared on Friday

By Anders Bylund - Oct 30, 2015 at 4:39PM

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Data security threats are boosting the security vendor's top and bottom lines.

Image: Imperva.

What: Shares of Imperva (NYSE: IMPV) rose 16% on Friday, thanks to a strong third-quarter report paired with rosy estimates for the next period.

So what: The data security expert saw third-quarter revenues jumping 48% higher year over year, landing at $63.3 million. Imperva reported adjusted earnings of $019 per share, up from a net loss of $0.10 per share in the year-ago period.

Analysts were expecting a loss of $0.05 per share on sales in the $57 million region. Imperva crushed both of these consensus targets with impunity.

Looking ahead, the midpoints of Imperva's fourth-quarter guidance ranges pointed to sales of roughly $67 million and adjusted earnings near $0.13 per share. Wall Street currently expects a modest net loss on just $62 million in top-line sales.

Now what: Imperva's stock has more than doubled over the last 52 weeks and now trades just 3% below all-time highs despite a rocky summer. If that sounds overheated, you can't argue with the fantastic sales growth the company is producing. Moreover, the company appears to have figured out how to generate consistently positive cash flows.

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

Of course, Imperva is riding a macro trend here -- an escalating presence of information security threats and the need to defend against them.

"The company continues to benefit from the ongoing demand of enterprises looking to protect their data and applications, as the size and frequency of attacks increase globally," said Imperva CEO Anthony Bettencourt in these press materials.

If you thought this rosy market overview would boost Imperva's rivals as well, you're out of luck. Head-to-head rival CheckPoint Software only increased its share prices by 0.3% on this news, but that company recently presented its own analyst-stumping quarterly report.

Somewhat more puzzling, Symantec investors also largely ignored Imperva's results and market update. That company reports results next week, so investors are not yet locked into Symantec's own business results and management commentary.

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