Check Point Software Technologies

(CHKP) - Get Report

beat fourth-quarter earnings estimates by 2 pennies on a 4.5% climb in revenue.

Israeli firm Check Point, which makes firewall and virtual private network technology, reported Thursday it had GAAP net income of $65.3 million, or 26 cents a share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31. That was almost flat compared with net income of $64.5 million, or 26 cents a share, in the same period a year ago.

Revenue rose to $115.3 million from $110.3 million a year earlier and rose 8.5% from $106.3 million in the previous quarter.

Analysts had expected Check Point to earn 24 cents a share on revenue of $112 million, according to Reuters Research.

In a conference call before the market opened, Check Point said it expects first-quarter revenue to range from $110 million to $114 million and earnings to range from 22 cents to 24 cents a share. The consensus estimate gathered by Thomson First Call showed Check Point earning 24 cents a share on $109.9 million in revenue.

Check Point, which recently enjoyed a handful of analyst upgrades, said net income for the full year fell to $243.9 million, or 96 cents a share, from $255.1 million, or $1 a share, in 2002. Revenue ticked up 1.3% to $432.6 million in 2003.

Check Point shares declined 42 cents, or 2%, to $20.73 in recent trading.