Robinson Humphrey lowered its investment rating on Internet security firms Check Point Software (CHKP ) and Internet Security Systems (ISSX ) to outpefrom from buy based on the slightly increased risk of security solutions companies being impacted by a broad slowdown in IT spending and the demand environment. Shares of both companies were down sharply.
Analyst Chris Hovis noted that this is not a "table-pounding negative," but in light of high valuation levels, there is limited upside potential in the near term. He maintains his estimates, but thinks it will be very difficult for even Check Point and Internet Security Systems to significantly increase guidance as they have over the past few quarters.
On Check Point, he cut his 12-month price target to $160, from $210. On Internet Security Systems, he cut his target to $85, from $140.