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Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (CHKP - Analyst Report) is set to report third-quarter 2013 results on Oct 21. Last quarter, the company posted in-line earnings. Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Growth Factors This Past Quarter

Check Point delivered decent second-quarter results with the bottom line matching the Zacks Consensus Estimate and the top line surpassing the same. However, year-over-year comparisons were modest.

The year-over-year revenue growth was aided by an increase in Software Updates, Maintenance and Services revenues, partially offset by weak Product and Licenses revenues. However, lower sales of high-end appliances impacted Product revenues.

Geographical contributions were good and growing acceptance of Check Point’s high-end products was encouraging. Despite expectations of an increase in sales volume during the second half, the company provided cautious third-quarter guidance, reflecting macro uncertainty in the European region and capped spending by customers.

We are positive on strong support from the acceptance of data center appliances and believe that continuous enhancements in the data center product lines will adequately support revenue growth in the near term. However, an uncertain economic environment, competitive pressures, currency headwinds and Check Point’s significant European exposure are the possible headwinds, going forward.

Earnings Whispers?

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Check Point will beat earnings this quarter. That is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1, 2 or 3 for this to happen. That is not the case here as you will see below.

Zacks ESP: Both the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate stand at 78 cents. Hence, the difference is 0.00%.

Zacks Rank: Check Point’s Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) when combined with a 0.00% ESP makes surprise prediction difficult.

We caution against stocks with Zacks Ranks #4 and 5 (Sell-rated stocks) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions momentum.

Other Stocks to Consider

Here are some other companies you may want to consider as our model shows that they have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:

Fiserv, Inc. (FISV - Analyst Report), with Earnings ESP of +1.99% and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Plexus Corp. (PLXS - Analyst Report), with Earnings ESP of +1.49% and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Apple Inc. (AAPL - Analyst Report), with Earnings ESP of +2.29 and a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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