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CIBC Downgrades Check Point

CIBC World Markets downgraded Check Point Software Technologies (CHKP) to sector perform from sector outperform, after the company on Monday pre-announced disappointing earnings guidance.

Analyst Shaul Eyal says the pre-announcement fell short of his 34 cents earnings per share (EPS,) $149.5 million revenue estimates, and former guidance of 33 cents to 34 cents EPS and $145 million to $155 million revenue. Also, notwithstanding the termination of the SourceFire acquisition, he notes that the company cut 2006 guidance to EPS of between $1.37 and $1.45 on $580 million to $610 million revenue. This was down from $661 million, which included the potential $40 million contribution from SourceFire. He says the only positive news was deferred revenue grew by $10 million sequentially to $179 million. He cut his $1.44 2006 EPS estimate to $1.37 and his $1.54 2007 EPS estimate to $1.46.

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