Proofpoint (PFPT) Downgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Proofpoint (NASDAQ:PFPT) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Friday morning, 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.”

Several other brokerages also recently commented on PFPT. Robert W. Baird reissued a buy rating on shares of Proofpoint in a research note on Friday, April 26th. Wedbush reissued an outperform rating and issued a $138.00 price objective (up from $130.00) on shares of Proofpoint in a research note on Friday, April 26th. KeyCorp increased their price objective on Proofpoint from $136.00 to $154.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research note on Friday, April 26th. Piper Jaffray Companies upped their target price on Proofpoint from $136.00 to $140.00 and gave the company a sell rating in a report on Friday, April 26th. Finally, Deutsche Bank upped their target price on Proofpoint from $95.00 to $125.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Thursday, April 25th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating, eighteen have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Proofpoint presently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $132.05.

Shares of Proofpoint stock opened at $117.00 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $6.68 billion, a PE ratio of -101.74 and a beta of 1.79. 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 current ratio of 0.79 and a quick ratio of 0.79.

Proofpoint (NASDAQ:PFPT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 25th. The software maker reported ($0.33) EPS for the quarter, hitting the 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 return on equity of 13.93% and a negative net margin of 15.82%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 24.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.30 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts predict that Proofpoint will post -0.82 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Proofpoint news, EVP Bhagwat Swaroop sold 13,176 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, April 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $119.61, for a total transaction of $1,575,981.36. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 13,451 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,608,874.11. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CFO Paul R. Auvil III sold 30,000 shares of the stock in a transaction 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 $13,022,162.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 169,227 shares of company stock valued at $20,452,648. 2.93% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. MML Investors Services LLC grew its holdings in Proofpoint by 0.9% during the fourth quarter. MML Investors Services LLC now owns 9,399 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $788,000 after purchasing an additional 88 shares during the period. Washington Capital Management Inc. bought a new position in Proofpoint during the first quarter valued at $528,000. Thornburg Investment Management Inc. grew its holdings in Proofpoint by 90.4% during the fourth quarter. Thornburg Investment Management Inc. now owns 123,938 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $10,387,000 after purchasing an additional 58,838 shares during the period. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can grew its holdings in Proofpoint by 13.1% during the fourth quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 5,933 shares of the software maker’s stock valued at $480,000 after purchasing an additional 686 shares during the period. Finally, Coronation Fund Managers Ltd. bought a new position in Proofpoint during the first quarter valued at $4,679,000. 94.79% of the stock is 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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