During the third quarter of 2018, Fortinet’s revenues increased 21 percent year over year to $453.9 million. Product revenue grew 20 percent to $164.5 million. Billings also increased 22 percent year over year to $527.5 million. Fortinet reported a non-GAAP operating margin of 24 percent and non-GAAP earning per share of $0.49.
But Wall Street expected more from the company that has been steadily gaining network security market share. The company’s stock fell about 5 percent after it reported earnings on Thursday.
“We think investors were expecting a bit more upside on reported revenues,” wrote BMO Capital Markets analyst Keith Bachman in a research note, adding that the company posted a solid quarter. BMO Capital Markets also increased Fortinet’s target price to $90. “We like [Fortinet’s] positioning as a cost-effective security solution, particularly with [small- and mid-sized businesses], and increasingly with enterprise customers.”
Ken Xie, Fortinet’s founder and CEO, said the company saw strong demand for its Security Fabric platform as well as its SD-WAN that includes an integrated next-generation firewall. “SD-WAN plays a pivotal role in realizing the true benefit of digital transformation and is forecast to reach $4.5 billion by 2022, up from $1 billion in 2018,” Xie said, according to a transcript. He also cited Gartner’s forecast that by 2023, half of all new firewall purchases in the distributed network will use SD-WAN features.
“Fortinet offers the only solution that provide both SD-WAN and next-gen firewall functionality in a single integrated offering for enterprise and SMB,” he said. “We believe this technology advantage puts Fortinet in a solid position to capitalize on strong SD-WAN market growth.”
Xie also cited the company’s recent acquisition of ZoneFox. The cloud-based insider threat detection and response startup will boost Fortinet’s endpoint and security information and event management (SIEM) technology through machine learning.
Q3 Customer Wins
Fortinet CFO Keith Jensen said billings to large global customers, excluding service providers and managed security service providers, grew 31 percent compared to last year. One of the top billings was a seven-figure deal “with the same large U.S. retailer we highlighted in the first quarter for their then seven-figure all-cloud transaction.” The new purchase focused on Fortinet’s high-end, ASIC-based firewalls called FortiGates.
Cloud billings for the company’s top five public cloud providers also grew more than 100 percent.
Jensen also cited a “quadruple competitor displacement with a large U.S.-based financial services firm,” but didn’t say which competitors Fortinet’s security products displaced. Fortinet competes against companies including Palo Alto Networks, Check Point Software, and Cisco.
When asked which products the customer consolidated onto the Fortinet platform, Jensen said multiple-product deals like this one go beyond firewalls. “From a hardware viewpoint the access points and the switches are doing very well. And then you roll into that typically a suite of FortiManager, FortiAnalyzer, FortiSIEM, FortiCloud, etc.”
FortiManager provides a single-pane-of-glass to manage Fortinet’s security and networking devices. FortiAnalyzer offers centralized network security logging and reporting; FortiSIEM provides security information and event management; and FortiCloud is a hosted security management and log retention service for the company’s firewall and WiFi devices.