|Shares of Sourcefire have climbed more than 47% this year.|
"This is actually a discipline that requires a lot of focus to do well," added Martin Roesch, the Sourcefire CTO. Intrusion Detection technology, he added, must be continually adjusted to deal with the latest network threats. Sourcefire has also been aggressively growing its list of channel partners, which now number just under 600, up from 339 a year ago, and 177 at the beginning of 2010. The security specialist enjoyed 40% year-over-year revenue growth during its fourth quarter, and Burris believes Sourcefire should be able to grow revenue 20% on an annual basis over the next few years. Sourcefire enjoyed strong enterprise momentum during the fourth quarter, and it's expected to see a boost in its government business during the coming months. "From a growth perspective, we believe the results reflect continued momentum, solid execution, and provide evidence that the significant investments Sourcefire has been making are yielding results," said Todd Weller, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus, in a recent note. "We see a more positive 2012 growth outlook for Sourcefire driven by potential product cycle benefits, the potential for its Federal government business to be better than expected, and the return of some degree of margin expansion." Weller has a buy rating on Sourcefire. Overall, the sell side is split on the stock. Nine of the 17 analysts covering the shares are bullish at either strong buy (5) or buy (4) with the remainder on the sidelines at hold (8). The median 12-month price target of $46 is below Wednesday's regular session close of $47.70, so valuation may be an issue. At current levels, the shares are up nearly 90% in the past year and trade at a hefty forward price-to-earnings multiple of 52.4X. -- Written by James Rogers in New York. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/jamesjrogers. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out our new tech blog, Tech Trends. Follow TheStreet Tech on your wireless devices.