Sourcefire's Q4 Boosted by Government - TheStreet

Sourcefire's Q4 Boosted by Government

Sourcefire comfortably beat analysts' estimates in its fourth-quarter results, boosted by its booming U.S. Federal business.
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COLUMBIA, Md. (

TheStreet

) --

Sourcefire

(FIRE)

comfortably beat analysts' estimates

in its fourth-quarter results this morning, boosted by its booming U.S. federal business.

The company reported revenue of $35.3 million, up from $25.7 million in the prior year's quarter, and above Wall Street's estimate of $32.93 million. Excluding items, Sourcefire posted earnings of 29 cents a share on net income of $8.4 million, compared to 13 cents a share and $3.4 million in the same period last year. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had predicted earnings of 19 cents a share.

Sourcefire, which was one of

TheStreet's

top security stocks for 2010

, brought in revenue of $103.5 million for the full year, up from $75.7 million in the prior year, and above Wall Street's forecast of $101.09 million.

Revenue from the U.S. federal sector accounted for $30.2 million of Sourcefire's 2009 sales, a massive 92% hike on 2008. Sales into the commercial sector were also robust, bringing in $49.5 million, an increase of 18% on the prior year.

The Maryland firm, which competes with

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

and

McAfee

(MFE)

, is clearly well positioned to reap the benefits of both Wall Street and Washington's cybersecurity efforts at a time of

increasingly virulent online threats

. The U.S. government, which recently appointed its

first cybersecurity tsar

, is expected to increase its spending on IT security from $7.9 billion in 2009 to $11.7 billion in 2014, so there is clearly plenty of upside potential for Sourcefire investors.

For the first quarter, Sourcefire expects revenue between $23.8 million and $24.8 million and earnings of 5 cents a share to 7 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had forecast first-quarter sales of $23.66 million and earnings of 5 cents a share.

-- Reported by James Rogers in New York

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