Cybersecurity, Internet infrastructure companies hold up relatively well amid COVID-19 pandemic

FireEye, Akamai and Juniper Networks delivered earnings reports that were far from perfect, but show demand amid an economic slowdown.

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Information security and technologies that speed up cloud and content delivery remain relatively strong sectors amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has rattled numerous enterprises.

Amid a barrage of earnings reports on Tuesday, Akamai and FireEye stood out as companies that are seeing strong demand in part due to an increase in cyberattacks. Juniper Networks also held up fairly well even though revenue fell short of expectations.

FireEye reported that first quarter revenue was up 7% from a year ago. The company reported a net loss of 35 cents a share with a non-GAAP loss of 2 cents a share. Wall Street was expecting a loss of 4 cents a share. The results highlight that the run of cybersecurity attacks aren't going to be thwarted by a pandemic.

CEO Kevin Mandia said FireEye was able to shift to a work-from-home model seamlessly and perform well. Mandia said the shift to remote work enabled the company  to remain focused "as threat actors continue their heated pace of attacks while the world faces a global pandemic."

The company said its platform, cloud subscription, managed services and consulting businesses all showed strong growth and accounted for 54% of revenue in the first quarter. FireEye added that it will restructure and cut about 6% of its workforce.

In addition, FireEye provided guidance for the second quarter and 2020. The company admitted that projections are difficult given the COVID-19 pandemic, but said it expected second quarter revenue of $213 million to $217 million with a non-GAAP loss of 3 cents a share to a penny a share. Wall Street was expecting a second quarter non-GAAP profit of 2 cents a share on revenue of $222.6 million.

For 2020, FireEye projected revenue of $880 million to $990 million with non-GAAP earnings of 3 cents a share to 7 cents a share.

Akamai was another company that highlighted the strength of information security as a business. Akamai said its first quarter cloud security unit was up 26% from a year ago to $240 million. A double bonus for Akamai is that its platform also enables web content to be delivered faster. Total first quarter revenue was $764 million, up 8% from a year ago, with net income of $123 million, or 75 cents a share. Non-GAAP earnings were $1.20 a share.

Wall Street was expecting first quarter non-GAAP earnings of $1.16 cents a share on revenue of $749.8 million.

Meanwhile, Juniper Networks delivered first quarter revenue of $998 million, flat with a year ago. The company reported first quarter net income of $20.4 million, or 6 cents a share. Non-GAAP earnings were 23 cents a share. Wall Street was expecting first quarter sales of $1.01 billion. 

Juniper said it saw orders grow 10% from a year ago as service providers bought networking gear. Juniper said its results would have likely topped its guidance without COVID-19. Juniper is seeing enterprise weakness, but strong demand from service providers, which are seeing record traffic.

The networking company also provided an outlook. It expects sequential revenue and non-GAAP earnings growth in the second quarter. Cloud and service provider customers are driving demand. Juniper sees second quarter revenue of $1.06 million give or take $50 million with non-GAAP earnings of about 34 cents a share give or take 5 cents a share.