Check Point Software
said first-quarter earnings rose 76% from a year ago, reflecting strong sales of its Internet security applications and a charge in the year-ago quarter.
But revenue came in a bit below Wall Street's expectations, sparking a mild selloff.
The company earned $73.7 million, or 29 cents a share, in the latest quarter, compared with $41.9 million, or 16 cents a share, last year. Revenue jumped 19% to $137.7 million, reflecting $65.5 million in license revenue and $58.4 million in software subscription revenue.
The company earned 30 cents a share, before a charge, in the latest quarter, a penny better than estimates. Analysts had been forecasting first-quarter sales of $138.9 million.
Jerry Ungerman, who recently relinquished his role as president and is now the company's vice chairman, said CheckPoint did not suffer from the March sales slowdown that affected many other software vendors.
"We didn't feel it, and we weren't hearing
about a slowdown from our channel partners," he said in an interview. "But let's wait 10 days until the other security vendors report to make a judgment."
Asked about the miss, Ungerman noted that a number of sell-side analysts raised their first-quarter estimates just days before the earnings announcement. "I don't know why they did that, but our revenue was right in line with our guidance of $136 million to $140 million," he said.
Wall Street reacted quickly to the sales miss, driving shares down nearly 8% following the announcement, which came before the opening bell on Monday. But the stock recovered later, and in recent trading was off 62 cents, or 3%, to $21.18.
Looking to the second quarter, the company said that excluding acquisition-related charges it expects to earn a per share profit of 30 cents or 31 cents on revenue ranging from $142 million to $148 million. Analysts were expecting an EPS of 30 cents on revenue of $144 million.