) to sector outperform from sector perform.
Analyst Shaul Eyal says the upgrade is based on strengthening macro and micro fundamentals, mitigating cash-utilization concerns and short-term catalysts. Eyal believes Check Point is well positioned to meet its highest range of revenue guidance of $114 million. He thinks a seasonally strong fourth quarter, and a slight increase in information-technology spending, could provide upside to estimates. Eyal bumped the 93 cents 2003 earnings per share estimate to 95 cents, and upped the $1.03 2004 estimate to $1.05.
He set a $1.26 2005 earnings per share estimate on revenue of $595 million. He raised the price target to $27, from $20, or 21 times the 2005 estimate.