Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Proofpoint (PFPT) to Sell

Proofpoint (NASDAQ:PFPT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report released on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Proofpoint continues to invest in sales and marketing. We anticipate this to remain a drag on the company’s bottom line in the near term. Intensifying competition and an uncertain macroeconomic environment add to its woes. Additionally, change in customer spending behavior is a concern for the company which has recently hit several other players in this space.”

Several other brokerages also recently commented on PFPT. Piper Jaffray restated an “overweight” rating and set a $134.00 price objective on shares of Proofpoint in a research report on Friday, March 9th. Deutsche Bank boosted their price objective on shares of Proofpoint from $120.00 to $140.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, March 16th. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on shares of Proofpoint from $124.00 to $135.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 22nd. William Blair restated an “outperform” rating on shares of Proofpoint in a research report on Wednesday, March 14th. Finally, Goldman Sachs upgraded shares of Proofpoint from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $112.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating, twenty-three have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Proofpoint presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $113.67.



NASDAQ PFPT opened at $122.94 on Wednesday. Proofpoint has a 1-year low of $70.30 and a 1-year high of $123.87. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85, a current ratio of 1.07 and a quick ratio of 1.06.

Proofpoint (NASDAQ:PFPT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 6th. The software maker reported $0.29 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.21 by $0.08. Proofpoint had a negative net margin of 16.37% and a negative return on equity of 54.09%. The business had revenue of $145.40 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $139.61 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.18 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 36.1% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts anticipate that Proofpoint will post -1.01 EPS for the current year.

In related news, CEO Gary Steele sold 40,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $102.40, for a total value of $4,096,000.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 94,203 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,646,387.20. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Bhagwat Swaroop sold 3,077 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, April 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $117.41, for a total transaction of $361,270.57. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 99,197 shares of company stock worth $10,137,204. Insiders own 5.96% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of Proofpoint by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. now owns 115,520 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $10,259,000 after purchasing an additional 550 shares during the last quarter. American International Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of Proofpoint by 2.1% in the fourth quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 29,407 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $2,612,000 after purchasing an additional 603 shares during the last quarter. Baird Financial Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of Proofpoint by 7.7% in the fourth quarter. Baird Financial Group Inc. now owns 15,319 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $1,360,000 after purchasing an additional 1,090 shares during the last quarter. Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. grew its stake in shares of Proofpoint by 13.4% in the fourth quarter. Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. now owns 10,526 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $935,000 after purchasing an additional 1,242 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Exane Derivatives grew its stake in shares of Proofpoint by 901.8% in the fourth quarter. Exane Derivatives now owns 1,713 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $152,000 after purchasing an additional 1,542 shares during the last quarter.

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Proofpoint Company Profile

Proofpoint, Inc operates as a security-as-a-service (SaaS) provider that enables large and mid-sized organizations to defend, protect, archive, and govern their sensitive data worldwide. It offers protection against advanced and targeted threats, including malicious attachments, polymorphic threats, zero-day exploits, user-transparent ?drive-by' downloads, malicious Web links, hybrid threats, malware free attacks, and other penetration tactics.

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