Check Point Software ( CHKP) was dropping 2.6% early Friday after a Wall Street research firm cut its rating on the stock.

Friedman Billings Ramsey downgraded Check Point to underperform from market-perform but kept its $19 price target. FBR said 2007 will probably be a major transition year for Check Point, as the company is facing increasing competition, including that from Microsoft ( MSFT).

At the same time, Check Point is trying to integrate a newer growth product into its offerings. Check Point was losing 62 cents to $23.01 in premarket trading.

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