Check Point's cost-cutting boosts Q3 profits

Leading firewall and security vendor, Check Point Software Technologies, has announced profits of $74.3m (£51.5m) for the third...

Leading firewall and security vendor, Check Point Software Technologies, has announced profits of $74.3m (£51.5m) for the third quarter of 2001, citing decreased costs and strong uptake of new products as driving the results.

The $74.3m figure - which translates to 29 cents per share - was up from the $61.6m - or 23 cents per share - that Check Point tallied in the third quarter of 2000.

Revenues for the quarter were $118m, up from $116m in 2000. Check Point also said that it has $944.2m in cash and investments.

Despite the difficult economic times, Check Point posted good numbers because "security is a very, very important market", said the company's president Jerry Ungerman.

While security software companies were affected by the economic downturn, "on a relative basis, they are doing much better than other segments", he added.

During the quarter, Check Point began shipping its Check Point NG product, the next generation of the company's security software. It also introduced Provider-1 NG, a software package targeted at carriers that allows them to manage multiple firewalls from a single console, and it expanded the feature set of its OPSEC (Open Platform for Security) security framework.

The company also said that the 11 September terrorist attacks accounted for an estimated loss of between $15m and $20m for the quarter. The attacks delayed by about 10 days sales that would otherwise have been made immediately.

Though many security companies have credited the attacks for boosting interest in their business, Ungerman said that the attacks have had no immediate impact on customer interest in Check Point.

With its software, hardware partnerships and cash, Check Point is "very well positioned" for the future, Ungerman said. "We're going to do very well, if not better, than anybody."

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