Fortinet reported another strong financial quarter, although tepid forecasts worried investors and analysts.
The software security company’s revenues surged 18 percent year-over-year to $374 million for the third quarter. Net income more than quadrupled year-over-year to $26.6 million.
Both of those results came in just ahead of analyst forecasts, and what the company was predicting just last quarter.
During the company’s third-quarter results conference call, Fortinet CFO Andrew Del Matto said the company garnered a significant increase in deals with larger enterprise customers. This included an 18 percent increase in deals valued at more than $100,000; a 26 percent increase in deals valued at more than $250,000; a doubling on deals valued at more than $500,000; and a 78 percent increase on deals worth more than $1 million.
Del Matto noted that the U.S. market in general was not seeing “competitive discounting” during the quarter, though international markets did have some that were “volume related.”
However, Fortinet dampened enthusiasm by slightly downgrading its fourth-quarter forecast. Del Matto said the company was lowering full-year revenue guidance from $1.495 billion at the high end to new guidance of $1.49 billion at the high end.
Del Matto noted several reasons for the adjustment, including a strong uptick in fourth quarter 2016 results compared with the previous quarter that it does not feel it will maintain; current pay-as-you-go models used by telecommunication operations that make it harder to forecast potential upsell opportunities; and regional issues surrounding natural disasters in Latin America and geopolitical issues in Southeast Asia.
Del Matto had previously spoken about the billing challenges with established telecom operators.
Fortinet’s stock took a slight run ahead of the earnings release, before giving back those gains once its earnings were released. The company’s stock took a similar tact along with its second quarter 2017 results.
Analysts moved in step with Fortinet’s forecasts, with some lowering estimates and target prices.
“With the September [quarter], [Fortinet] continued its behavior of inconsistent performance, with a very solid September [quarter], followed by a disappointing December [quarter] guide,” wrote BMO Capital Markets analyst Keith Bachman in a research note. “Typically, we would characterize [Fortinet’s] December [quarter] guide as very conservative. However, we note that [Fortinet] had previously raised the December [quarter] guide after the March and June [quarter] results.”
Bachman did maintain an “outperform” rating on Fortinet’s stock.
Analysts in general remain positive on the software security space. A recent report from Momentum Partners found market valuations for companies in the space increased 45 percent during the third quarter of 2017, compared to June 2016 lows, with a median revenue increase of 4.3x over the past 12 months.