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What's in Store for Fortinet (FTNT) this Earnings Season?

Fortinet Inc. FTNT is set to report first-quarter 2016 results on Apr 26. Last quarter, the company reported lower-than-expected earnings. Let us see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Factors at Play

Fortinet offers network security solutions, including firewall, VPN, application control, antivirus, intrusion prevention, web filtering, anti-spam and WAN acceleration. Although, the company’s last quarter’s bottom-line results were disappointing, we are encouraged by its strong top-line growth.

Despite the lingering macro uncertainty, the company seems positive on the back of a healthy network security market, strong product line-up, deal wins and investment plans which should boost revenues in the first quarter.

The demand for cyber security is on the rise and the previous quarterly results show that Fortinet is gaining from it. Notably, the company has been witnessing a higher number of large deal signings over the past few quarters which should aid results in the to-be-reported quarter.

With the advancement in technology, more organizations are adopting the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy, which has enhanced employee productivity with anytime, anywhere access, while making it all the more necessary for the organizations to enforce stringent data security measures.

However, we anticipate Fortinet’s bottom-line results to be impacted by continuous investments in research and development and marketing strategies. Competition from key network security players such as Cisco Systems Inc., Check Point CHKP, Juniper Networks and Palo Alto Networks also raise concern.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Fortinet will beat earnings estimates this quarter. This is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) for this to happen. That is not the case here as you will see below.

Zacks ESP: Both the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate stand at a loss per share of a penny. Hence, the difference is 0.00%.

Zacks Rank: Fortinet currently has a Zacks Rank #3 which when combined with a 0.00% ESP makes surprise prediction difficult.

We caution against stocks with a Zacks Rank #4 or 5 (Sell-rated stocks) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions momentum.

Stocks to Consider

Here are a couple of companies which you may consider, as our model shows that they have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:

Barracuda Networks, Inc. CUDA, with an Earnings ESP of +200.00% and a Zacks Rank #1.

Align Technology Inc. ALGN, with an Earnings ESP of +12.82% and a Zacks Rank #1.

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FORTINET INC (FTNT): Free Stock Analysis Report
CHECK PT SOFTW (CHKP): Free Stock Analysis Report
ALIGN TECH INC (ALGN): Free Stock Analysis Report
BARRACUDA NTWRK (CUDA): Free Stock Analysis Report
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