Why buy Check Point Software Technology ([[CHKP]]: 21.95, -0.23 (-1.04%))? Check Point is the gorilla of pure-play security software. The company is a global leader in cyber security software with products deployed in virtually every major global corporation including all Fortune 100 companies and its technology dominates the global market for perimeter defenses such as firewalls and virtual private networks. The company describes itself as:
“Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. is the leader in securing the Internet. Check Point offers total security solutions featuring a unified gateway, single endpoint agent and single management architecture, customized to fit customers’ dynamic business needs. This combination is unique and is a result of our leadership and innovation in the enterprise firewall, personal firewall/endpoint, data security and VPN markets.
Check Point’s pure focus is on information security. Through its NGX platform, Check Point delivers a unified security architecture to protect business communications and resources, including corporate networks and applications, remote employees, branch offices and partner extranets. The company also offers market-leading endpoint and data security solutions with Check Point Endpoint Security products, protecting and encrypting sensitive corporate information stored on PCs and other mobile computing devices. Check Point’s award-winning ZoneAlarm solutions protect millions of consumer PCs from hackers, spyware and identity theft. Check Point solutions are sold, integrated and serviced by a network of Check Point partners around the world and its customers include 100 percent of Fortune 100 companies and tens of thousands of businesses and organizations of all sizes.”
Securing the network has always been a critical issue in both the corporate and government worlds. The recent reports of Chinese and Russian hackers breaching security at Pentagon and defense contractor networks and hacking the power grid and air traffic control systems just reinforces the need to vigorously protect our networks. The Obama administration’s intention to digitize health records for all Americans raises a more challenging problem for the health care industry. The growing use of cloud computing grows the market for cyber security products.
The expansion in the threat posed by IT vulnerabilities has already had a profound effect on the security industry - encouraging growth in IT security spending which has produced a parallel proliferation of niche security technology vendors. This, in turn, has awoken the interest of major vendors who now see security as an essential requirement in their broader IT infrastructure portfolios - a requirement they have met by acquiring IT security specialists, including almost all of Check Point’s significant former competitors.
Check Point made the strategic decision to broaden its own portfolio of technologies beyond the perimeter. The company has made several acquisitions to expand their core offerings to include end-point solutions, VPN, firewall, data security and intrusion prevention systems. These acquisitions form a foundation for Check Point to offer single-agent endpoint security covering everything from the network edge to core information assets.
On a fundamental basis, Check Point is a well run company. Even with the global recession, in the first quarter of 2009, the company grew revenues by 1.8% to $195 million and grew earnings by 3.4% to $80.9 million (0.38 per share). It has more than $1.0 billion of cash and no long term debt.
The current consensus earning estimate for 2009 is $1.89, with a range of $1.68 to $1.95. EPS estimates for 2010 ranges from $1.73 to $2.18 with a consensus of $2.06. Measured Approach provides an EPS estimate of $2.04 for FYE 2010. We also estimate free cash flow in FYE 2009 at $1.93 and for FYE 2010 of $2.70. Based on our own EPS estimates, CHKP is selling at 11.6x our estimate of $2.04. On a free cash flow multiple basis, Check Point is selling at 12.25x our estimate of $1.93 and 8.75x our 2010 estimate of $2.70. The average P/E multiple for CHKP is about 18x-19x. Using this multiple, the target price for Check Point is about $38.