Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Proofpoint (PFPT) to “Buy”

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Proofpoint (NASDAQ:PFPT) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Thursday morning, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $134.00 target price on the software maker’s stock.

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.”

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Citigroup raised their target price on Proofpoint to $117.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Monday, February 4th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Proofpoint from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, February 14th. Monness Crespi & Hardt raised their price target on shares of Proofpoint from $115.00 to $120.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Friday, February 1st. Morgan Stanley set a $120.00 price target on shares of Proofpoint and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Saturday, February 2nd. Finally, ValuEngine lowered shares of Proofpoint from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 5th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating, eighteen have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $132.05.

NASDAQ:PFPT opened at $119.97 on Thursday. Proofpoint has a 52 week low of $75.92 and a 52 week high of $131.43. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.07, a quick ratio of 0.79 and a current ratio of 0.79. The stock has a market cap of $6.68 billion, a PE ratio of -104.32 and a beta of 1.79.

Proofpoint (NASDAQ:PFPT) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, April 25th. The software maker reported ($0.33) EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.33). Proofpoint had a negative return on equity of 13.93% and a negative net margin of 15.82%. The firm had revenue of $202.90 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $199.32 million. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.30 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 24.9% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, analysts expect that Proofpoint will post -0.82 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Proofpoint news, CFO Paul R. Auvil III sold 30,000 shares of the firm’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 value of $3,678,300.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 106,208 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $13,022,162.88. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP David Knight sold 1,500 shares of the firm’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 completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 18,089 shares in the company, valued at $2,209,752.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 169,227 shares of company stock worth $20,452,648 over the last three months. Corporate insiders own 2.93% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. MML Investors Services LLC increased its holdings in shares of Proofpoint by 0.9% during the 4th quarter. MML Investors Services LLC now owns 9,399 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $788,000 after buying an additional 88 shares during the last quarter. Washington Capital Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Proofpoint during the 1st quarter worth approximately $528,000. Thornburg Investment Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Proofpoint by 90.4% during the 4th quarter. Thornburg Investment Management Inc. now owns 123,938 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $10,387,000 after buying an additional 58,838 shares during the last quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can increased its holdings in shares of Proofpoint by 13.1% during the 4th quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 5,933 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $480,000 after buying an additional 686 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Coronation Fund Managers Ltd. acquired a new stake in shares of Proofpoint during the 1st quarter worth approximately $4,679,000. 94.79% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Proofpoint Company Profile

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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Analyst Recommendations for Proofpoint (NASDAQ:PFPT)

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