Bank of America Initiates Coverage on Proofpoint (PFPT)

Bank of America assumed coverage on shares of Proofpoint (NASDAQ:PFPT) in a research report sent to investors on Friday morning, Benzinga’s Daily Ratings Newsletter reports. The firm issued a buy rating and a $155.00 price objective on the software maker’s stock.

A number of other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. BidaskClub upgraded Proofpoint from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a report on Wednesday, April 10th. Piper Jaffray Companies lifted their target price on Proofpoint from $120.00 to $136.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a report on Monday, April 8th. Mizuho began coverage on Proofpoint in a report on Tuesday, March 26th. They set a neutral rating and a $120.00 price target on the stock. Morgan Stanley lifted their price target on Proofpoint from $120.00 to $132.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a report on Tuesday, March 12th. Finally, Needham & Company LLC reiterated a buy rating and set a $135.00 price target (up previously from $130.00) on shares of Proofpoint in a report on Tuesday, March 12th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-one have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Proofpoint currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $126.68.

Shares of NASDAQ PFPT opened at $122.90 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $6.78 billion, a P/E ratio of -106.87 and a beta of 1.83. Proofpoint has a 52-week low of $75.92 and a 52-week high of $130.27.

Proofpoint (NASDAQ:PFPT) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, January 31st. The software maker reported ($0.20) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.35) by $0.15. The business had revenue of $198.48 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $192.92 million. Proofpoint had a negative return on equity of 12.20% and a negative net margin of 14.47%. Analysts anticipate that Proofpoint will post -1.18 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CFO Paul R. Auvil III sold 30,000 shares of Proofpoint stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $121.23, for a total transaction of $3,636,900.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 104,192 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $12,631,196.16. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP David Knight sold 1,500 shares of Proofpoint stock in a transaction on Thursday, January 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $101.43, for a total value of $152,145.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 11,814 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,198,294.02. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 102,958 shares of company stock worth $12,333,570 in the last quarter. 3.37% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in PFPT. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC boosted its position in Proofpoint by 149.9% during the third quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 1,812,611 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $192,735,000 after purchasing an additional 1,087,297 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in Proofpoint during the fourth quarter valued at $39,840,000. Teachers Advisors LLC boosted its position in Proofpoint by 111.0% during the third quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 849,483 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $90,326,000 after purchasing an additional 446,817 shares during the last quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC boosted its position in Proofpoint by 143.0% during the third quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 734,917 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $78,144,000 after purchasing an additional 432,467 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its position in Proofpoint by 67.2% during the fourth quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 925,102 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $77,534,000 after purchasing an additional 371,864 shares during the last quarter. 95.85% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Proofpoint Company Profile

Proofpoint, Inc operates as a security-as-a-service provider that enables large and mid-sized organizations to defend, protect, archive, and govern their sensitive data worldwide. It offers protection against advanced and targeted threats, including malicious attachments, polymorphic threats, zero-day exploits, user-transparent ‘drive-by' downloads, malicious Web links, hybrid threats, malware free attacks, and other penetration tactics.

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Analyst Recommendations for Proofpoint (NASDAQ:PFPT)

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