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Israel’s Check Point Software forecasts higher fiscal 2023 results

Check Point Software Technologies Ltd forecast revenue growth of as much as 8% in 2023 after reporting fourth-quarter results on Monday that beat analysts’ estimates on strength in its consolidated cyber security platform.

The Israel-based company said it expects adjusted annual earnings per share between $7.70 and $8.30 and revenue of $2.34 to $2.51 billion.

Analysts had expected full-year earnings of $8.10 per share on revenue of $2.44 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

However, the company warned it was cautious given weaker global economic growth and its Nasdaq-listed shares were marginally lower at $126.29.

The first three quarters of 2022 showed a very healthy business environment, but there was “some change” in the fourth quarter amid weaker global economic growth although spending on cyber security remains “a top priority” for companies, Chief Executive Gil Shwed said.

Shwed pointed to a 38% jump in cyber attacks globally last year.

On an adjusted basis, Check Point earned $2.45 per share in the fourth quarter, while revenue rose 7% to $638 million.

Analysts had expected the company would earn $2.35 per share and post revenue of $636 million.

Sales at Check Point’s Infinity platform, which consolidates cyber security to prevent attacks across networks, internet-based devices, mobile and the cloud, more than doubled in the fourth quarter.

The company forecast first-quarter adjusted earnings per share between $1.68 and $1.78 and revenue of $545 million to $585 million, compared with estimates of earnings of $1.76 per share on revenue of $573 million.

With a cash balance of $3.5 billion at the end of 2022, Check Point said it bought back 2.6 million shares in the fourth quarter, worth $325 million, as part of its share repurchase programme. The company said it has expanded the programme by another $2 billion and would continue to buy up to $325 million of its own shares each quarter.

Shwed added that he was open to buying companies should they meet Check Point’s valuation criteria. Reuters

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