Proofpoint (PFPT) Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Proofpoint (NASDAQ:PFPT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday, Zacks.com reports.

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. Moreover, the company raised its view for 2019 revenues. 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. Competition from bellwethers continues to be an overhang. Shares have underperformed the industry year to date.”

PFPT has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Deutsche Bank boosted their price objective on shares of Proofpoint from $95.00 to $125.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, April 25th. Morgan Stanley set a $120.00 target price on shares of Proofpoint and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, February 2nd. Citigroup boosted their target price on shares of Proofpoint to $117.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, February 4th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Proofpoint from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 29th. Finally, ValuEngine cut 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, three have issued a hold rating, eighteen have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $132.05.

NASDAQ PFPT traded down $1.18 during trading on Friday, reaching $120.36. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 5,835 shares, compared to its average volume of 549,374. The company has a quick ratio of 0.79, a current ratio of 0.79 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.07. The company has a market capitalization of $6.66 billion, a P/E ratio of -104.68 and a beta of 1.79. Proofpoint has a 12 month low of $75.92 and a 12 month high of $131.43.

Proofpoint (NASDAQ:PFPT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 25th. The software maker reported ($0.33) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.33). The firm had revenue of $202.90 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $199.32 million. Proofpoint had a negative net margin of 15.82% and a negative return on equity of 13.93%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 24.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.30 EPS. Equities analysts expect that Proofpoint will post -0.82 EPS for the current year.

In related news, CFO Paul R. Auvil III sold 30,000 shares of the company’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 completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 106,208 shares in the company, valued at approximately $13,022,162.88. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP David Knight sold 1,500 shares of the company’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 $183,240.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 18,089 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,209,752.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 119,227 shares of company stock valued at $14,448,248. 2.93% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in PFPT. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its position in Proofpoint by 1,609.4% during the 1st quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 529,900 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $64,346,000 after purchasing an additional 498,900 shares in the last quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC increased its position in Proofpoint by 85.0% in the 1st quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 1,059,219 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $128,621,000 after acquiring an additional 486,517 shares during the period. Norges Bank acquired a new position in Proofpoint in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $39,840,000. Neuberger Berman Group LLC increased its position in Proofpoint by 143.0% in the 3rd quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 734,917 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $78,144,000 after acquiring an additional 432,467 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its stake in shares of Proofpoint by 67.2% in the 4th quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 925,102 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $77,534,000 after purchasing an additional 371,864 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 94.79% 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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