Online security

Check Point Software sees up to 10% sales growth in 2022

The logo of network security provider Check Point Software Technologies Ltd is seen at its headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israel August 14, 2016. Picture taken August 14, 2016. REUTERS/Baz Ratner/File Photo

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JERUSALEM, Feb 3 (Reuters) – Check Point Software Technologies (CHKP.O) beat estimates with a 4% rise in fourth-quarter profit and on Thursday expects revenue growth of up to 10% in 2022, thanks in part to to its new firewall to protect data centers.

It expects revenue this year to reach $2.2 billion to $2.375 billion after rising 5% to $2.17 billion in 2021 and earnings per share excluding special items of 6.90 to 7, $50, down from $7.02 last year.

Check Point is expected to earn $7.34 per share excluding items on revenue of $2.23 billion in 2022, according to I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv.

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Its Nasdaq-listed shares fell 1.4% to $122 in premarket.

Check Point launched its Quantum Lightspeed firewall last month to protect data centers at higher speeds than previous offerings. “I think that should drive revenue up,” chief executive Gil Shwed said.

Much of Check Point’s growth has come from subscriptions and all-in-one products to protect web servers, networks, cloud data, mobile devices and email.

On Monday, the company bought Spectral, an Israeli cybersecurity startup, aiming to expand its cloud security line.

Israel-based Check Point said it earned $2.25 per diluted share excluding special items in the October-December period, up from $2.17 a year earlier.

Driven by growth in its cloud protection products and consolidated cybersecurity platform, revenue increased 6% to $599 million as the company topped $2 billion for the second consecutive year in 2021.

It was expected to earn $2.12 per share on revenue of $584 million, according to I/B/E/S data.

Shwed said the last three months of last year were one of the company’s best quarters in years.

And “we’ve started the year (2022) on a very positive and strong note,” Shwed told reporters, adding that the company would invest more this year in its workforce, research and development, and… other engines of growth.

Still, Shwed was cautious about 2022 given supply chain risks and the fact that the global economy was in a “very sensitive phase” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the first quarter, Check Point forecasts revenue of $517 million to $547 million, with ex-EPS items of $1.48 to $1.58.

Check Point, which has cash of $3.8 billion, said it repurchased 2.8 million shares during the quarter, worth $325 million, as part of its redemption of shares.

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Reporting by Steven Scheer Editing by Ari Rabinovitch, Mark Potter and David Evans

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