The FireEye logo is seen outside the company's offices in Milpitas, California, December 29, 2014. REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach

FireEye raises revenue forecast as demand for cybersecurity rises

(Reuters) – Cybersecurity company FireEye Inc raised its full-year revenue forecast as governments and businesses increase spending to protect their networks from sophisticated cyber attacks.

Shares of FireEye, which also reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue, rose 1.7 percent in extended trading on Thursday.

Recent high-profile cyber attacks, such as those on Anthem Inc and Sony Corp, have forced companies and governments to beef up their online security.

“The marketplace for cybersecurity is white hot, the needs for our FireEye and Mandiant solutions are white hot,” Chief Executive David DeWalt told Reuters.

FireEye, which is yet to post a profit since it went public in September 2013, uses cloud-based technologies to help businesses and government departments fight computer viruses that manage to breach old-school antivirus software.

The global cybersecurity market is estimated to grow to $155.74 billion by 2019 from $95.60 billion in 2014, according to market research firm MarketsandMarket.

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“We are seeing the threat landscape go so global – a lot of Russia, Chinese attackers, even American involvement, Middle-East, North Korea with Sony … it’s a global pandemic,” DeWalt said.

FireEye raised its 2015 revenue forecast to $615 million-$635 million from $605 million-$625 million.

The company said it now expected to report a loss of $1.75-$1.85 per share, smaller than $1.80-$1.90 anticipated earlier.

Analysts on average were expecting a loss of $1.86 per share and revenue of $619.8 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

“They are in the right place at the right time, which is why they just crushed the billings number, which is a big focus for the Street,” FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives said.

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FireEye’s billings jumped 53 percent in the first quarter ended March 31.

The company’s net loss attributable to shareholders widened to $134.0 million, or 88 cents per share from $101.2 million, or 76 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, FireEye had a loss of 48 cents per share.

Revenue jumped 69.5 percent to $125.4 million as subscription and services revenue surged 71 percent, driven mainly by its acquisition of cyber forensics firm Mandiant Corp last year.

Analysts on average had expected a loss of 51 cents per share and revenue of $120.6 million.

FireEye shares were trading at $41.90 after the bell. Up to Thursday’s close, the stock had risen about 30 percent this year.

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