February 11, 2015 / 9:44 PM / 3 years ago

Higher IT security spending helps FireEye revenue beat Street

(Reuters) - Cybersecurity company FireEye Inc’s quarterly revenue and profit beat market estimates as governments and businesses ramped up spending to protect their networks from increasingly sophisticated attacks.

FireEye shares were up 7.2 percent at $38.26 in extended trading on Wednesday.

Recent high profile cyber attacks, such as those on Home Depot Inc and Sony Corp, have resulted in the loss of huge amounts of personal information and card data.

The cybersecurity market is estimated to grow to $155.74 billion by 2019 from $95.60 billion in 2014, according to market research firm MarketsandMarkets. (bit.ly/15EACGR)

The company’s revenue soared 150 percent to $143 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, above average estimate of $141.4 million.

“I think it’s a breath of fresh air after the choppy results we’ve seen over the last few quarters,” FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives said.

The company had taken a hit as customers increasingly shifted to subscription-based products, away from on-premise equipment that brought in revenue upfront.

FireEye was hired by No.2 U.S. insurer Anthem Inc last week when hackers stole personal health records relating to current and former customers and staff, after breaching an IT system containing data on up to 80 million people.

“I think there is a recognition that these point products — little firewall here, little antivirus there — just doesn’t solve the Sonys of the world, the Targets of the world, and Home Depots of the world,” Chief Executive David DeWalt told Reuters. “That’s why we are growing faster.”

FireEye uses cloud-based technologies to help businesses and government departments fight off computer viruses that evade old-school anti-virus software.

The company forecast an adjusted loss of 49-53 cents per share and revenue of $118 million-$122 million for the first quarter ending March.

Analysts on average were expecting a loss of 53 cents per share on revenue of $121.1 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net loss attributable to shareholders widened to $105.7 million, or 72 cents per share, for the fourth quarter from $2.5 million, or 2 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company reported a loss of 38 cents per share, lower than the 49 cents analysts expected.

“Now it’s about delivering consistent results,” Ives said.

Reporting by Abhirup Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Joyjeet Das

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