Proofpoint (PFPT) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Proofpoint (PFPT) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Proofpoint (NASDAQ:PFPT) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Thursday, Zacks.com reports. The brokerage currently has a $135.00 price target on the software maker’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target suggests a potential upside of 11.91% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Proofpoint's first-quarter results benefited from a firm international footing and solid uptick in emerging suite of products. Robust demand for Email Fraud Defense and Threat Response is a tailwind. Its new offerings have expanded the total addressable market by more than $6 billion and are proving to be a key growth catalyst. Renewal rate is consistently high. Management is confident about retaining revenue growth of 20% or more while maintaining free cash flow margins in the mid-20s in 2019. Moreover, the company raised its view for 2019 revenues, which is encouraging. Sturdy adoption of cloud is boosting demand for its solutions. However, Proofpoint expects headwinds this year due to zero contribution from the Cloudmark’s OEM business. Moreover, continuous investment in sales and marketing is expected to weigh on the company’s bottom line in the near term. Shares have underperformed the industry year to date.”

A number of other research firms also recently commented on PFPT. Deutsche Bank raised their target price on shares of Proofpoint from $95.00 to $125.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 25th. Morgan Stanley set a $120.00 price objective on shares of Proofpoint and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, February 2nd. Citigroup lifted their price objective on shares of Proofpoint to $117.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, February 4th. BidaskClub raised shares of Proofpoint from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 29th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded shares of Proofpoint from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 5th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating, nineteen have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Proofpoint currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $132.10.

Shares of Proofpoint stock traded up $0.48 during trading on Thursday, hitting $120.63. The stock had a trading volume of 13,729 shares, compared to its average volume of 612,600. The firm has a market capitalization of $6.61 billion, a PE ratio of -104.87 and a beta of 1.79. The company has a current ratio of 0.79, a quick ratio of 0.79 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.07. Proofpoint has a 12 month low of $75.92 and a 12 month high of $131.43.

Proofpoint (NASDAQ:PFPT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 25th. The software maker reported ($0.33) earnings per share for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.33). Proofpoint had a negative net margin of 15.82% and a negative return on equity of 13.93%. The company had revenue of $202.90 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $199.32 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.30 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 24.9% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, sell-side analysts predict that Proofpoint will post -0.82 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Proofpoint news, CFO Paul R. Auvil III sold 30,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $122.61, for a total transaction of $3,678,300.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 106,208 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $13,022,162.88. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Gary Steele sold 20,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $122.16, for a total transaction of $2,443,200.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 162,209 shares in the company, valued at approximately $19,815,451.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 120,227 shares of company stock worth $14,566,338. 2.93% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its position in Proofpoint by 2.8% during the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,427,064 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $151,739,000 after acquiring an additional 38,862 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its position in Proofpoint by 2.2% during the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 83,231 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $8,848,000 after acquiring an additional 1,786 shares during the period. Man Group plc raised its position in Proofpoint by 12.4% during the third quarter. Man Group plc now owns 8,609 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $915,000 after acquiring an additional 951 shares during the period. Neuberger Berman Group LLC raised its position in Proofpoint by 143.0% during the third quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 734,917 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $78,144,000 after acquiring an additional 432,467 shares during the period. Finally, Teachers Advisors LLC raised its position in Proofpoint by 111.0% during the third quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 849,483 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $90,326,000 after acquiring an additional 446,817 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 95.88% of the company’s stock.

About Proofpoint

Proofpoint, Inc operates as a security-as-a-service provider that enables large and mid-sized organizations to defend, protect, archive, and govern their sensitive data worldwide. It offers protection against advanced and targeted threats, including malicious attachments, polymorphic threats, zero-day exploits, user-transparent ‘drive-by' downloads, malicious Web links, hybrid threats, malware free attacks, and other penetration tactics.

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