Updated from 4:49 p.m. EDT with fourth quarter and full-year 2014 forecast.
SAN FRANCISCO (TheStreet) – Fortinet (FTNT) posted a stronger third quarter performance than Wall Street analysts expected, as the network security company benefited from greater demand for security products in the wake of high-profile breaches and the strength of its product portfolio.
Shares of Fortinet rose 1.7% in after-hours trading to $25.60. It had closed at $25.17, down 0.40% during the regular session.
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Fortinet reported net earnings of 12 cents a share on revenue of $193.3 million in the quarter, up 25% year over year. Billings were up 29% to $213.2 million, compared with year ago figures. Analysts were expecting 11 cents a share on revenue of $184.9 million, according to a survey from Thomson Reuters.
During the earnings call with analysts, Fortinet raised its full-year 2014 guidance and gave a fourth quarter forecast. The network security provider expects revenue of $752 million to $757 million for 2014 and earnings of 47 cents to 48 cents per share.
As for its fourth quarter forecast, Fortinet expects to earn 13 cents to 14 cents on revenue of $206 million to $211 million. That forecast is a little lighter than analysts had expected but its revenues are stronger, according to analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, who expect net income of 15 cents a share on revenue of $202.9 million.
"Our investments in sales and marketing have continued to pay off evidenced by another quarter of traction in both new customer wins, as well as expansion within our existing large and growing global customer base. We currently believe that Fortinet remains well positioned for the remainder of the year and into 2015," said Ken Xie, Fortinet CEO, in a statement.
High-profile security breaches like the JPMorgan Chase hack attack that affected 76 million households and 7 million companies to retailing giant Target's security breach that resulted in 40 million credit cards getting exposed has lead to increased demand for security software, devices and appliances overall in the industry.
That, in turn, has pushed Fortinet's share price to the higher range of its 52-week high, as well as its competitors Palo Alto Networks (PANW) and to a lesser degree, Check Point Software Technologies (CHKP)
At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
TheStreet Ratings team rates FORTINET INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate FORTINET INC (FTNT) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed ? some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share."
You can view the full analysis from the report here: FTNT Ratings Report