NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts are "comfortable" with the abrupt resignation of Fortinet (FTNT) CFO Ahmed Rubaie and have upgraded their rating of shares in the network solutions provider to "buy" and a $24 a share price target.
On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Fortinet said Rubaie would resign after just seven months as CFO of the company. The announcement, called "unsettling" and a "shock" by analysts, was taken as a cloud on what many perceive to be an incipient turnaround at the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company.
After meeting with Fortinet's management, Bank of America Merrill Lynch appear to believe Rubaie's resignation was due to personal reasons and not any issues surrounding the firm's financial reporting.
"After speaking with senior management, we feel comfortable that Mr. Rubaie's decision was due to personal reasons and not to any disagreements over the financials," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts said in the Tuesday upgrade.
"Our sense is that a new CFO will be announced much sooner compared to last transition when it took roughly 7 months to find a replacement to former CFO Mr. Goldman. We also believe the company is leaning towards filling the role with two executives for each the operational and the financial roles which we view as a positive," the analysts added.
Fortinet said on Nov. 27 that Rubaie will leave the company "for personal" reasons on Dec. 5, and will be replaced by Nancy Bush on an interim basis. Bush served the company as CFO Sept. 2012 to April 2013, when Rubaie was appointed for the role.