Fortinet (NASDAQ:FTNT) Cut to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Fortinet (NASDAQ:FTNT) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports. The brokerage currently has $133.00 price target on the software maker’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Fortinet is benefiting from rising demand for security and networking products amid coronavirus crisis as a huge global workforce is working remotely. It is also benefiting from robust growth in Fortinet Security Fabric, cloud and SD-WAN offerings. Moreover, continued deal wins, especially those of high value, are a key driver. Higher IT spending on cybersecurity is further expected to aid Fortinet to grow faster than the security market. Also, focus on enhancing its UTM portfolio through product development and acquisitions is a tailwind for Fortinet. However, competition from numerous big and small players in the security application market poses a concern. Moreover, increasing consolidation in the security industry is intensifying competition. Increased hiring, mostly in sales and marketing, and M&A spends remain overhangs on margin.”

FTNT has been the subject of a number of other reports. Barclays raised their price target on Fortinet from $122.00 to $132.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a report on Thursday, May 7th. Raymond James raised their price target on Fortinet from $115.00 to $133.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a report on Thursday, May 7th. Credit Suisse Group raised their price target on Fortinet from $110.00 to $130.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a report on Friday, August 7th. Bank of America reiterated a buy rating and issued a $140.00 price target (up previously from $120.00) on shares of Fortinet in a report on Thursday, May 7th. Finally, Cowen reduced their target price on Fortinet from $115.00 to $105.00 and set a market perform rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, April 21st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have given a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $128.81.

Shares of NASDAQ FTNT traded up $0.16 during trading hours on Wednesday, reaching $127.60. The stock had a trading volume of 844,612 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,850,821. The business’s fifty day moving average is $135.84 and its two-hundred day moving average is $120.93. The company has a market cap of $20.56 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 53.17, a PEG ratio of 4.88 and a beta of 0.97. Fortinet has a twelve month low of $70.20 and a twelve month high of $151.95.

Fortinet (NASDAQ:FTNT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 6th. The software maker reported $0.82 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.65 by $0.17. Fortinet had a return on equity of 40.58% and a net margin of 17.46%. The firm had revenue of $615.50 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $599.20 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.58 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 18.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Research analysts predict that Fortinet will post 1.92 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, CFO Keith Jensen sold 3,600 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $126.79, for a total value of $456,444.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 1,788 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $226,700.52. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, VP John Whittle sold 4,389 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $128.14, for a total value of $562,406.46. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 5,563 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $712,842.82. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 48,967 shares of company stock valued at $6,765,965. Insiders own 18.20% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Farmers & Merchants Investments Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Fortinet by 260.9% in the first quarter. Farmers & Merchants Investments Inc. now owns 249 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $25,000 after acquiring an additional 180 shares during the period. Verus Capital Partners LLC bought a new stake in Fortinet during the first quarter worth about $31,000. Harwood Advisory Group LLC bought a new stake in Fortinet during the first quarter worth about $34,000. Bartlett & Co. LLC bought a new stake in Fortinet during the second quarter worth about $41,000. Finally, Private Capital Group LLC lifted its stake in Fortinet by 171.2% during the second quarter. Private Capital Group LLC now owns 301 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $41,000 after purchasing an additional 190 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 72.18% of the company’s stock.

About Fortinet

Fortinet, Inc provides broad, integrated, and automated cybersecurity solutions worldwide. It offers FortiGate hardware and software licenses that provide various security and networking functions, including firewall, intrusion prevention, anti-malware, virtual private network, application control, Web filtering, anti-spam, and wide area network acceleration; FortiSandbox technology that delivers proactive detection and mitigation services; and FortiSIEM family of software solutions, which offers a cloud-ready security information and event management solutions.

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