Check Point tallies strong second quarter

Check Point tallies strong second quarter

After a quarter that saw it introduce next generation products and expand partnerships, VPN (virtual private network) vendor Check Point Software Technologies on Monday announced revenue of $US142.1 million for the second quarter of 2001, edging just slightly above the figure the company set for itself in an early July forecast.

Monday's revenue figure is up from $90.7 million in the second quarter of 2000 and tops the $140 million to $142 million Check Point said on July 3 that it expected to earn. Before that forecast, analysts had expected revenue of $149.5 million.

The company earned $0.33 per share, a penny more than both it and the 26 analysts polled for the Nasdaq Web site had expected.

Check Point chalked up its success in the quarter to the introduction of its Check Point Next Generation VPN product, expanded VPN installations and partnerships with the likes of Compaq Computer, as well as strong attendance at its four security conferences.

The company ended the quarter with cash and interest bearing investments of $866 million. Also of note, the company increased spending on research and development to $9.05 million, up from $6.66 million in the same quarter 2000 and also boosted sales and marketing expenditures from $27.7 million to $28.7 million.

Check Point was one of three major security firms to issue earnings warnings of forecasts recently. Both Symantec, the maker of the Norton line of utility and security products, and firewall vendor Internet Security Systems (ISS) said that their numbers would come in below expectations.

Symantec posted revenue of $228 million for the quarter, in line with its forecast of between $225 million and $235 million, but below the $255 million to $263 million the company originally expected. ISS also made its revised numbers, with $51.7 million in revenue for the quarter, down from its original figures of between $64 million and $67 million.

Investors reacted well to Check Point's numbers, pushing the company's stock (CHKP) up $3.88, or nearly 11 per cent, to $39.30 in early morning trading.

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