Barclays Says Sell Check Point With Better Values To Be Found In Cybersecurity

Shares of IT security software and services provider Check Point Software (CHKP) are underperforming in a down market after Barclays cut the stock to the firm's equivalent of a sell rating, contending that other security vendors that are gaining market share offer a more compelling investment opportunity. 


UNDERWEIGHT CHECK POINT: Barclays analyst Raimo Lenschow, as part of a broader research note on the U.S. software sector, downgraded Check Point to Underweight from Equal Weight and cut his price target for shares to $83 from $91. The analyst said he expects overall security spending to grow at a rate of 7% in 2016-2017, similar to what he expects for 2015. He further points to the compression and divergence in the multiples of cybersecurity stocks in the second half of this year as evidence that multiple expansion in the group this year should be more based on company-specific factors. Lenschow said he prefers to own security stocks that are gaining market share with valuation support and catalysts, naming Palo Alto (PANW), Imprivata (IMPR) and Rapid7 (RPD) as his top three ideas in the space. 

OTHERS TO WATCH: Other publicly traded companies in the cybersecurity space include Barracuda (CUDA), F5 Networks (FFIV), FireEye (FEYE), Fortinet (FTNT), Imperva (IMPV), Proofpoint (PFPT), Qualys (QLYS) and Symantec (SYMC). 

PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, Check Point slid 1.61% to $77.81, outpacing the 1.25% drop seen in the S&P 500. Over the last month, Check Point shares have lost over 10%.

Disclosure: None.

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Kurt Benson 3 years ago Member's comment

I haven't given up on Check Point yet. I'd like to see more data on this though.

Alexis Renault 3 years ago Member's comment

Cyber security is a booming industry. It's really saying something if $CHKP got downgraded. Personally, I'm liking $PANW.

Currency Trader 3 years ago Member's comment

Yes, a burgeoning industry. $RPD is the better choice though.