Check Point Software 1Q profit grows 18 percent

The Associated Press

Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. said Monday that its first-quarter earnings rose 18 percent, helped by growing demand for its Internet security software.

But the Israeli company's shares slid in morning trading. The midpoint of its forecast for the current quarter fell below analyst expectations.

The company earned $143.6 million, or 68 cents per share, in the January-March quarter, up from $122.1 million, or 57 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Adjusted earnings excluding stock compensation expenses and other items were 74 cents per share. Analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings of 72 cents per share.

Revenue grew 11 percent to $313.1 million from $281.3 million. Analysts expected revenue of $312.9 million.

Nomura analyst Rick Sherlund said that while the company's $303 million in billings were better than Wall Street had expected, year-over-year growth slowed down significantly from the fourth quarter.

For the current quarter, Check Point is forecasting adjusted earnings of 74 cents to 77 cents per share, bracketing analysts' expectations of 76 cents per share. The company expects revenue of $324 million to $336 million, mostly below analysts' forecast of $334.2 million.

Shares of the Tel Aviv, Israel-based company fell $5.62, or 8.8 percent, to $58.43 in morning trading Monday. The stock has ranged from $47.79 to $65 in the past 52 weeks.