Check Point Beats, Chases Fresh Markets

Check Point tops analysts' first-quarter estimates, and is ramping up its virtualization and data protection efforts.
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REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (

TheStreet

) -- Network security specialist

Check Point

(CHKP) - Get Report

comfortably topped analysts' estimates in its first-quarter results and is ramping up its efforts around virtualization and data protection.

Check Point, which is one of

TheStreet's top security stocks for 2010

, reported revenue of $245.1 million Monday, up from $195 million in the same period last year, and above Wall Street's estimate of $240.72 million.

Excluding items, the hardware and software maker earned 55 cents a share on net income of $116.8 million, compared to 45 cents a share and $95.5 million in the prior year's quarter. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had predicted earnings of 53 cents a share.

Investors responded positively to Check Point's numbers. The company's stock rose 48 cents, or 1.33%, to $36.50 in pre-market trading.

Check Point, which competes with

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

,

Juniper

(JNPR) - Get Report

and

newly public

Fortinet

(FTNT) - Get Report

, is also extending its product reach.

"The first quarter marked a great start for the year," said Check Point CEO Gil Shwed, in a statement released before the market open. "We posted record results and further expanded our addressable market by entering two new exciting markets - secure virtual desktop with

our Abra

software and Data Loss Prevention with our DLP solution."

Virtualization lets users divide physical hardware into multiple "virtual" chunks and has grown in popularity among users looking to juggle myriad operating systems and applications. The technology is

expected to be one of the key trends of 2010

and helped drive

recent strong results

at

VMware

(VMW) - Get Report

and

EMC

(EMC)

.

-- Reported by James Rogers in New York

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