Cybersecurity Stocks to Watch as Russia-Ukraine Conflict Escalates
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has raised concerns about cybersecurity to a fever pitch. That means while cybersecurity stocks may look overvalued, the effects of the conflict are likely not...
The fight against cyber threats is accelerating and here are three stocks that stand to benefit
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has raised concerns about cybersecurity to a fever pitch. In the United States, banks and major corporations are on heightened alert against cyber attacks. And while no specific threat exists, the current geopolitical situation serves as a reminder that living in a digital world has its drawbacks.
The good news is that many companies have already taken steps to bolster their cybersecurity. Investors have known this as the stock price of cybersecurity stocks has risen sharply over the past few years. That is a trend that's likely to accelerate as companies look to leave no stone unturned in protecting their own, and their customers, data. That means while cybersecurity stocks may look overvalued, the effects of the Russia-Ukraine conflict are not yet priced in.
With that in mind, here are three stocks we believe present attractive buying opportunities for risk-tolerant investors.
Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) - Palo Alto Networks reported earnings on February 21 and posted a beat on the top and bottom lines. Several analysts gave PANW stock price a higher price target in the days following the earnings report.
But that was before the Russian invasion commenced. It's likely that there will be more upward revisions to follow. For example, Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) just rated Palo Alto Networks as its top cybersecurity pick in a sector that firm believes has "rock solid" fundamentals. While the stock appears to have a high valuation, firms like Morgan Stanley believe that cybersecurity stocks will continue to outperform broader software stocks in 2022.
One reason to like Palo Alto Networks is that the company is a major provider of internet security solutions for enterprise customers. Palo Alto attracts an international roster of clients with its emphasis on innovation. The firm makes use of cutting edge breakthroughs in artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics.
CrowdStrike (NASDAQ:CRWD) - CrowdStrike will report earnings in early March and with the stock trading towards the bottom of its 52-week range this may set up a buying opportunity for investors. The company has been growing revenue on a quarterly and year-over-year basis. And the rate of revenue growth has remained consistent. This is evident on the company's bottom line as it has posted a non-GAAP EPS profit in each of the last seven quarters.
CrowdStrike benefits from having a cloud-first business that is helping enterprise customers move their existing security protocols into the cloud era. The company does business with 63 of the Fortune 100 companies. And 14 out of the top 20 banks use the company's software.
Okta (NASDAQ:OKTA) - Okta is involved in helping businesses address personal identity and access management concerns. This has to do with areas such as two-factor user authentication which is becoming more important as offices are increasingly having to accommodate a decentralized workforce. With that in mind, Okta offers a software-as-a-solution (SaaS) product for clients. It also allows developers to build identity controls across its website, proprietary applications, and devices.
Okta is not yet consistently profitable (non-GAAP), but the company has been increasing its revenue on a quarterly and year-over-year basis. OKTA stock is currently trading near the bottom of its 52-week range and analysts give the stock a consensus price target that shows a potential 46% upside.
Okta reports earnings inearly March, investors will be looking for confirmation of the company's bullish forward guidance which included the projection of $4 billion of revenue and a free cash flow margin of 20% by the end of its 2026 fiscal year.
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