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UPDATE 2-Check Point Q2 profit gains on 'healthy' cyber security demand

·2 min read

(Adds Q3 estimates, share reaction)

By Steven Scheer

JERUSALEM, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Check Point Software Technologies beat estimates with a 2% gain in second-quarter profit, boosted by double-digit growth in revenue from products and subscriptions to protect cloud and other networks from escalating cyber attacks.

"The demand for cyber has remained healthy in the last year, and I hope it will stay that way," Chief Executive Gil Shwed told reporters.

Still, he cautioned that there are many uncertainties moving forward due to global economic softness and supply chain issues that have boosted its costs and weighed on its business. But "we remain quite positive," Shwed later told analysts.

Check Point shares, which have risen 7% this year, opened down 4.1% at $119.46.

Israel-based Check Point projected third-quarter revenue of $555-$585 million and adjusted earnings per share of $1.60-$1.72. The company was forecast to post EPS ex-items of $1.71 on revenue of $566.2 million, according to I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv.

Check Point said on Monday that in the April to June period, it earned $1.64 per diluted share excluding one-off items, up from $1.61 a year earlier. Revenue grew 9% to $571 million. It had been forecast to earn $1.62 a share on revenue of $560 million.

Over the past quarter, cyber-attacks increased by 32%, while advanced attacks, such as ransomware, grew by 59% to underscore the critical need for cyber security, Shwed said.

Check Point has moved to a prevention-first security system that includes securing corporate networks, the cloud and employees who work remotely. Security subscription revenue grew 14% in the quarter.

Shwed said that after making six acquisitions in the last few years, Check Point, with $3.7 billion in cash, may seek more.

"It's always challenging to find the right companies and we are (constantly looking) for the right targets," he said. "I'm sure that in the mid to long range, we'll find more opportunities."

Check Point said it bought back $325 million worth of shares in the quarter, as part of its share repurchase programme. (Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Jan Harvey)