Check Point Software profit gains on cloud, home network security

Steven Scheer
·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: Gil Shwed, Chief Executive of Check Point Software Technologies

By Steven Scheer

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Check Point Software Technologies reported on Monday a higher-than-expected 9% rise in quarterly net profit, boosted by strong growth in its platforms as more employees work from home in the pandemic.

Chief Executive Gil Shwed said the company was combining its technologies that help protect cloud storage systems as well as corporate and home networks into one suite called Infinity.

Much is still unknown about the future of work and whether business travel will return to pre-pandemic levels, Shwed said, although Check Point expects 74% of firms to allow some sort of working from home.

"We know it will be hybrid and that will require new levels of security that we haven't seen before," Shwed told a news conference, noting the number of large cyber attacks continues to grow weekly. "We're in the new world and there are new opportunities."

Shwed said Check Point's cloud and home network offerings both saw double-digit percentage growth in the first quarter, and that is expected to continue through 2021.

The Israel-based company said it earned $1.54 per diluted share excluding one-time items in the quarter, up from $1.42 a year earlier. Revenue grew 4% to $508 million, with the company on its way to top $2 billion for a second straight year in 2021.

It was forecast to earn $1.50 a share on revenue of $502 million, according to I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv.

For the second quarter, it sees revenue of $510-$535 million and adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.50-$1.60. Analysts have forecast EPS of $1.55 on revenue of $521.8 million.

Check Point kept its full-year estimates: revenue of $2.08-$2.18 billion and adjusted EPS of $6.45-$6.85 - compared with 2020 results of $2.07 billion and $6.78 respectively.

Its Nasdaq-listed shares opened 1.7% higher at $121.80 but they are down nearly 10% so far in 2021.

Check Point said it bought back 2.7 million shares in the quarter worth $325 million.

(Reporting by Steven Scheer. Editing by Ari Rabinovitch and Mark Potter)