April 8 (Reuters) - Friedman Billings Ramsey said it expects a “good enough” June outlook for most security software vendors, citing improving pipelines, pickup in deal activity and cost-containment programs, and upgraded Websense Inc WBSN.O to “outperform” from “market perform.”
“The company’s product strategy, strong channel focus, and relatively low average selling price give us comfort that Websense can navigate through this storm with its ship still intact,” analyst Daniel Ives wrote in a note to clients.
Shares of Websense, which forecast strong first-quarter earnings on Tuesday, were up 12 percent at $14.74 in early trade Wednesday on Nasdaq. [ID:nWNAB1611]
Larger vendors such as Check Point Software (CHKP.O) and Symantec Corp (SYMC.O) are particularly well positioned for the downturn, due to their solid balance sheets and cash flows, strong visibility from maintenance/subscription contracts and diverse business models, the analyst said. The “all-important” maintenance-deal flow and smaller deployments did proceed according to plan for the vast majority of security vendors, a positive dynamic that should make Wall Street estimates for March very achievable, Ives wrote. (Reporting by Bijoy Koyitty in Bangalore; Editing by Himani Sarkar)