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Fortinet stock split: Will second FTNT split drive up demand for cyber security shares?

By Manaswita Ghosh Dutta

Edited by Jekaterina Drozdovica

10:48, 27 October 2022

In this photo the Fortinet logo seen displayed on a smartphone
Will second FTNT split drive up demand for cyber security shares? Photo: iQoncept / Shutterstock

The stock of Fortinet (FTNT), the California-headquartered cybersecurity firm, did not fare well since its latest stock split in June 2022. 

FTNT stock price declined nearly 2% from 23 June, when the stock split was implemented, to 25 October. The cybersecurity stock underperformed the wider markets despite the firm’s strong financial report in the second quarter and new business partnerships.

What was the effect of the June 2022 Fortinet share split on the share price and is there a likelihood of more? Here we take a look at the latest Fortinet stock split news and analysis. 

What is Fortinet?

Fortinet is a Sunnyvale, California-based cybersecurity company. The firm develops and builds custom security technology for corporate and government organisations. Some of the company’s products include antivirus software, physical firewalls, endpoint security components and intrusion prevention systems.

Fortinet was founded in 2000 and its initial public offering (IPO) took place in November 2009. The IPO consisted of 12.5 million shares of common stock at $12.50 a share. The shares of the company are trading on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol FTNT.

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Fortinet’s stock performance

Fortinet stock enjoyed a major bull run between 2020 and 2021, pleasing shareholders with the hefty 374% return between March 2020 low and its all-time high achieved on 27 December. 

Since then, however, the investor sentiment shifted away from risk-on and growth stocks amid the global monetary tightening cycle and recession fears, and FTNT embarked on a volatile ride. The stock moved sideways to lower since its record level, falling 11.87% year-to-date as of 26 October. 

When looking at the long-term trend, however, the FTNT grew massively since its IPO. On a stock-split adjusted basis, the stock delivered 944% return, as of the time of writing (27 October). 

Fortinet stock price, 2017 - 2022

Fortinet’s Q2 non-GAAP net income jumps 

Fortinet’s GAAP net income rose to $173.5m in the second quarter ended 30 June from $137.5m for the same quarter of 2021, the cybersecurity company reported on 3 August.

GAAP diluted net income per share stood at $0.21, up from $0.16 GAAP a year ago. Meanwhile, the company’s total revenue jumped 29% to $1.03bn and billings increased 36% to $1.30bn, owing to the firm’s more than 50% year-over-year increase in the number of transactions larger than $1m. 

The stronger revenue was also the result of large enterprise firms continuing to favour the company “industry leading cost for performance advantage and integrated platform strategy”, according to Fortinet founder and CEO Ken Xie.

For the full-year 2022, Fortinet expected revenue to be in the range of $4.35bn to $4.40bn, and billings to be in the range of $5.56bn to $5.64bn.

Fortinet stock split history

Since its IPO, there were two Fortinet share splits:

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  • Two for one stock split on 2 June, 2011

  • Five for one stock split on 23 June, 2022

A stock split is corporate action where the shares of a company are divided, creating a higher amount of shares at a lower price. Stock splits do not have an impact on the firm’s overall market capitalisation. A stock split increases the number of shares in a company and decreases the price per share, thus raising the stock’s liquidity and making it more affordable for retail investors.  

The  2 for 1 and 5 for 1 Fortinet stock splits mean that for every share held by an FTNT shareholder before the split, each investor would receive two or five shares, respectively, after the Fortinet stock split date.

Fortinet June stock split and its implications on share price

Although the five-for-one stock split in June was carried out to attract more investors, it didn’t reverse the bearish sentiment for the share price. 

The Fortinet stock price before the split was $294, becoming $56.58 after the event, MacroTrends data shows. FTNT stock rose 5% in the two days following the split, yet has moved sideways since then, showing that the event failed to spark investor interest. 

The continuing Russia-Ukraine war, high inflation worldwide, and monetary policy tightening by the central banks affected investor sentiment, and thereby overshadowed the stocks-split effect on the FTNT stock price.

Despite FTNT’s lacklustre performance, 23 analysts at MarketBeat rated the stock a ‘moderate buy’, as of 26 October. Out of the 23 analysts covering the stock, 19 rated it a ‘buy’ and four a ‘hold’. The consensus 12-month analyst price target was $71.43 for the FTNT share price, with a 26.91% upside.

Danni Hewson, a financial analyst at AJ Bell, called Fortinet a “growth company with value credentials” and noted that the stock split made the stock more affordable:

“Trading in Fortinet shares has been fast and furious since its stock split and its share price is up 15% in the last month. This is a tech business with a knack for beating earnings expectations and there’s nothing to suggest that won’t continue when it updates markets next month. 

Cybersecurity is becoming ever more important, it’s a must have for companies even with recession knocking on the door. Growth stocks might be out of favour with many investors right now but Fortinet is a growth company with value credentials and the split made it a more affordable addition for investors looking to create diversified portfolios.”

Danni’s thoughts were echoed by Violeta Todorova, senior research analyst at Leverage Shares. However, Todorova pointed out the faded after-stock-split rally as well:

“The stock split motivated retail investors who were on the fence and hesitated spending larger amounts to buy a single share. The price rebounded initially from $56.20 to a high of $63.56 but the rally faded quickly, with the share price declining subsequently. From its December 2021 high, the stock is down 27% outperforming its peers.”

Could there be another FTNT stock split? 

Looking ahead, further Fortinet stock splits in the near- or long-term appear unlikely. This is because the current price of the stock, which stood at $55.92 as at 25 October, keeps it in the affordable range of retail investors.

In addition, the global headwinds that affected the stock price in June are still very much relevant. Therefore a second stock split this year is improbable, until the geopolitical issues currently affecting the broader market sentiment are no longer at play.

However, the stock still looks to benefit from the higher demand for security and networking products as a major volume of the workforce worldwide continues to work remotely. In addition, the company’s focus to improve its unified threat management portfolio via better products and acquisitions could boost the FTNT stock price.

Julie Gillespie, head of TipRanks TV, told Capital.com:

“While stock splits can garner extra attention from investors, Fortinet was perhaps overshadowed by other big name splits this year, including GOOGL, TSLA, and AMZN. Stock splits can attract investors by making the stock appear more affordable, but they do not fundamentally change anything. 

“At current prices, FTNT is still considered affordable, and their stock price has moved fairly sideways following the split with the market facing multiple economic headwinds, so it is not likely they will split again in the near future.  

“They have an impressive track record of exceeding expectations with their earnings reports, and with the growing need for cyber security, positive results are expected again for their upcoming report. Wall Street analyst ratings come in as Strong Buy overall with a price target of $71, implying attractive upside for the FTNT stocks future.”

Note that analysts can be wrong. Their forecasts shouldn’t be used as a substitute for your own research. Always conduct your own due diligence before trading, looking at the latest news, a wide range of analyst commentary, technical and fundamental analysis on the stock. Keep in mind that past performance does not guarantee future returns. And never trade money that you cannot afford to lose.

FAQs

When did Fortinet stock split?

The latest Fortinet stock split took place on 23 June 2022.

Why did Fortinet stock split?

The Fortinet stock split was carried out to boost liquidity and make the stock more affordable for retail investors.

Is FTNT a good stock to buy?

The stock was rated as a consensus ‘moderate buy’ by 23 analysts at MarketBeat, as of 26 October. Out of the 23 analysts covering the stock, 19 rated it a ‘buy’ while four rated it a ‘hold’. Note, however, that their views can be wrong and you should conduct your own research to determine whether the stock fits your investment goals and risk tolerance. 

Keep in mind that past performance does not guarantee future returns. And never trade money that you cannot afford to lose.

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You can still benefit if the market moves in your favour, or make a loss if it moves against you. However, with traditional trading you enter a contract to exchange the legal ownership of the individual shares or the commodities for money, and you own this until you sell it again.
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