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Check Point Software sees further gains in Q4; CFO to take 6-month leave

Check Point Software sees further gains in Q4; CFO to take 6-month leave
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By Reuters
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By Steven Scheer

JERUSALEM -Check Point Software Technologies forecast revenue growth of as much as 10% in the fourth quarter after handily beating third-quarter profit estimates on double-digit growth in sales of products and subscriptions to protect cloud and other networks from cyber attacks.

It also noted that starting in November, Chief Financial Officer Tal Payne will take a six-month sabbatical leave. Vice President of Finance Roei Golan will serve as acting CFO.

Israel-based Check Point on Thursday said it earned $1.77 per diluted share excluding one-off items in the July-September quarter, up from $1.65 a year earlier. Revenue grew 8% to $578 million.

It was forecast to earn $1.67 a share on revenue of $572 million, according to I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv.

For the fourth quarter, Check Point projected revenue of $608-$658 million, up from $599.1 million a year earlier and against analysts' expectations for $630.8 million. It also expects adjusted earnings per share of $2.22-$2.42, while analysts foresee $2.33.

While Check Point forecasts a strong end to 2022, chief executive Gil Shwed said it was difficult to estimate next year's outlook.

"This year in particular, the level of uncertainty is very, very high," he told reporters. "Despite all the turmoil that's going on in the market, we're seeing steady and very, very good results."

For all of 2022, Check Point expects revenue of $2.299-$2.349 billion, compared to a prior estimate of $2.2-$2.375 billion. It also narrowed its range for adjusted EPS to $7.20-$7.40 from $6.90-$7.50.

Over the past quarter, cyber attacks increased by 28%, underscoring the critical need for cyber security, Shwed said.

Check Point has moved to a prevention-first security system that includes securing corporate networks, the cloud and employees who work remotely. Security subscription revenue grew 13% in the quarter. It also expanded its offerings to prevent phishing and threats to internet of things (IOT) devices such as smart TVs and smart locks.

Its Nasdaq-listed shares were up 2.2% in premarket trading.

With $3.6 billion in cash, Check Point said it bought back 2.67 million shares in the quarter worth $325 million, as part of its share repurchase programme.

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