CIBC World upgraded Check Point Software (CHKP ) to sector outperform from sector perform.
Analyst Shaul Eyal says Check Point is trading at 17 times his 99 cents 2003 earnings per share estimate, an unjustified discount to the peer average of 30.4. Eyal says he is seeing some stabilization in security software spending, a slight uptick in unit volumes, and continued traction in the government/defense business.
Eyal says the growing list of appliance partners could continue to yield results in 2003 and beyond. He notes possible announcements of additional partners with U.S. and Asia-based appliance vendors, which would provide a positive catalyst. He sees 24 cents fourth quarter earnings per share on $104 million in revenue. He has a $17 target.