Why Imperva Shares Secured a Big Rally

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of enterprise data security and support solutions company Imperva (NAS: IMPV) spiked as much as 23% today after reporting its second-quarter earnings results.

So what: For the quarter, Imperva used a 30% increase in revenue to $24.6 million to reduce its loss per share to just $0.02. Wall Street expectations for the quarter had called for Imperva to lose $0.05 per share on revenue of $23.57 million. In addition to these strong results, Imperva guided its third-quarter loss expectations to a narrower range than analysts had been looking for, expecting EPS losses of $0.02-$0.03 versus the loss of $0.04 forecast by the Street.

Now what: High-margin service revenue was the notable bright spot, rising 41% with subscription revenue more than tripling. But when push comes to shove, Imperva isn't profitable as of yet and it's trading at more than 100 times forward earnings. In the past couple of weeks, I've highlighted plenty of data and firewall security companies that could alternatively be purchased for a fraction of the valuation that Imperva is trading at.

For instance, Check Point Software Technologies (NAS: CHKP) is seeing consistent recurring revenue gains from its highly addictive upgradable software options. On the value front, Symantec (NAS: SYMC) , the maker of Norton AntiVirus, and AVG Technologies (NYS: AVG) , a provider of open-source antivirus software that makes money from encouraging upgrades, have found their way into my good graces with low P/E ratios and a wide moat of potential customers. If you want growth, there's Palo Alto Networks (NAS: PANW) , which is doubling revenue year over year and also recently turned profitable. Its software is also primarily self-managing and geared toward cloud computing, an area where a lot of investment money is now flowing.

The point is, Imperva may not be a "bad" company, but there are definitely better choices out there in data security.

Craving more input? Start by adding Imperva to your free and personalized watchlist so you can keep up on the latest news with the company.

The article Why Imperva Shares Secured a Big Rally originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.The Motley Fool owns shares of Check Point Software Technologies. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Check Point Software Technologies. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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