Check Point Slumps Most in 18 Months as Forecast Widens

Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (CHKP), the Israeli maker of network security gear, fell the most since October 2012 after giving a second-quarter revenue forecast that was wider than usual.

Shares of the Tel Aviv-based company dropped 4.2 percent to $63.11 in New York, making it the biggest loser on the Bloomberg Israel-US Equity Index, which slipped 0.4 percent. Trading volume was triple the average of the last 90 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Check Point shares tumbled after the company said second-quarter revenue would be from $340 million to $375 million, a wider-than-usual guidance. Economic weakness in Asia contributed to the broader range for sales, Chief Executive Officer Gil Shwed said on a conference call with investors today.

“Widening the guidance is a way of saying that it may not be that bad, but they don’t know right now,” Jonathan Ho, a Chicago-based analyst at William & Blair & Co., said in a telephone interview. “There’s not any lack of pipeline, but uncertainty around the timing and closure of those deals.”

The company is cautious on sales in the current quarter amid challenging conditions in specific countries, Shwed said.

“We are expecting good results, but we would also like to expand the normal range,” he said.

Check Point’s adjusted earnings for the first three months of 2014 rose to 84 cents a share from 79 cents a year ago. That compares with the 83.5-cent average of 28 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gabrielle Coppola in New York at gcoppola@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Nikolaj Gammeltoft at ngammeltoft@bloomberg.net Marie-France Han

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