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Is Check Point's (CHKP) Place in Your Portfolio Justified?

At times, it is prudent to hold on to certain stocks that have enough potential but are weighed down by tough market conditions.Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. CHKP seems to be one such stock, which investors should hold on to if they are looking to reap long-term benefits. Though the stock is facing a few headwinds at the moment, these are transitory in nature. There is enough scope for this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company to rebound in the long run.

In fact, Check Pointstock has gained 46.3% in the last one year, outperforming the industry’s rally of 14.9%.

Factors In Favor of Check Point

We believe that Check Point Software will continue to benefit from strong demand for cybersecurity solutions. Notably, the financial well-being, brand image and reputation of enterprises and governments are always exposed to the risk of cyber threats. Consequently, cybersecurity has become a mission-critical, high-profile requirement.

With rapid technological advancement, organizations are increasingly adopting the “bring your own device” (BYOD) policy to enhance employee productivity with anytime/anywhere access. This trend, in turn, calls for stricter data security measures.

Per IDC’s new report, corporate spending on threat intelligence security services will reach $1.4 billion in 2018 from an estimated $905.5 million in 2014. Another research firm, MarketsandMarkets, projected that the global threat intelligence security market will touch approximately $5.86 billion by 2020 from $3.0 billion in 2015, representing a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 14.3%. These predictions bode well for Check Point.

Furthermore, the rapid adoption of Check Point’s data center appliances and the continuous enhancements in data center product lines are expected to provide adequate support to revenue growth. The company’s focus on enhancing mobile capabilities will enable it to tap greater larger opportunities. Moreover, the company’s strategy of growing through acquisitions is praiseworthy.

Additionally, its continuous share buybacks bode well for investors. The company has an expected EPS growth rate of 9.8%. Notably, the stock has delivered positive earnings surprises in the trailing four quarters with an average beat of 6.6%.

Risks Persist

Check Point faces competition from numerous big and small companies in the security application market. As Internet threats and attacks increase, stiff competition will follow suit. Moreover, we believe that its dominance could be challenged by new entrants.

Further, changing customer spending behavior, an uncertain economic environment and currency fluctuations add to the woes.

Our Take

We expect the aforementioned factors to help the company sustain strong momentum and stay afloat amid difficult times. Consequently, we suggest that investors hold on to the stock for the time being.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Currently, Check Point carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A few better-ranked stocks worth considering are Applied Materials, Inc. AMAT, Micron Technology, Inc. MU and NVIDIA Corporation NVDA, all sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Applied Materials, Micron and NVIDIA have a long-term expected EPS growth rate of 17.1%, 10% and 10.3%, respectively.

Will You Make a Fortune on the Shift to Electric Cars?

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With battery prices plummeting and charging stations set to multiply, one company stands out as the #1 stock to buy according to Zacks research.

It's not the one you think.

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