Are These Best Cybersecurity Stocks To Invest In Now?
As investors continue on their quest to identify the best stocks to buy during war, cybersecurity stocks are gaining attention. By and large, this section of the stock market today is becoming more relevant than ever due to the Russia-Ukraine developments. Namely, as Russia proceeds with its invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. is now contemplating intervention. According to the latest news from the White House, a series of strategic cyberattacks could be President Biden’s go-to on this front. In detail, key suggestions range from disrupting Russian internet connectivity to interfering with railroad systems, crippling Russia’s military supply pipelines.
More importantly, what would all this have to do with cybersecurity companies might you ask? Well, simply put, with mention of such countermeasures, concerns over a Russian cyberattack on the U.S. are also rising. Providing some insight into all this is George Kurtz, CEO of leading cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike (NASDAQ: CRWD). In an interview with CNBC’s Jim Cramer, he highlights that U.S. bank executives are particularly worried. Kurtz cites the potential damage of wiper viruses. The likes of which could wipe entire banking systems. Seeing as CrowdStrike works with 14 of the top 20 largest U.S. banks, these concerns seem prominent.
At the same time, companies like Zscaler (NASDAQ: ZS) continue to thrive on the operational front as well. Accordingly, in its latest quarterly earnings report, the company beat estimates across the board. Notably, Zscaler is looking at a year-over-year gain of almost 63% in revenue, its fastest growth in three years. Despite investors’ concerns over its conservative guidance for the current quarter, Zscaler’s performance is commendable. Overall, there seems to be plenty of activity among the top cybersecurity stocks now. Here are three to keep an eye on in the stock market right now.
Top Cybersecurity Stocks To Buy [Or Sell] Ahead Of March 2022
- Palo Alto Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: PANW)
- Cloudflare Inc. (NYSE: NET)
- Okta Inc. (NASDAQ: OKTA)
Palo Alto Networks Inc.
First up, we have Palo Alto Networks, a multinational cybersecurity company. In fact, it is a global cybersecurity leader that continues to shape the cloud-centric future with its technology. Its mission is to be the cybersecurity partner of choice and to protect its digital way of life. The company also addresses the world’s greatest security challenges with continuous innovation that seizes the latest breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, analytics, and automation.
On Tuesday, the company reported its second-quarter financials. Diving in, revenue for the quarter was $1.3 billion, up by 30% year-over-year. Billings for the quarter grew by 32% year-over-year to $1.6 billion. Palo Alto also reported that its remaining performance obligations grew by 36% compared to a year earlier to $6.3 billion. Non-GAAP net income for the fiscal second quarter was $185 million or $1.74 per diluted share. “In Q2, our company continued to benefit from strength across our three security platforms, driven by strong cybersecurity demand, organizations architecting for hybrid work and growing their hyperscale cloud footprints,” said Nikesh Arora, chairman, and CEO of Palo Alto Networks. “On the back of this strength, notably in our next-generation security offerings, we are raising our guidance for the year across revenue, billings, and earnings per share.”
For the fiscal year 2022, the company announced that it will be broadly raising its guidance. Total revenue is expected in the range of $5.425 billion to $5.475 billion, representing year-over-year growth of between 27% and 29%. All things considered, is PANW stock worth investing in today?
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Cloudflare is a global cloud service provider that delivers a broad range of services to businesses of all sizes and in all geographies. The company also strives to make companies more secure, and enhance the performance of their business-critical applications. NET stock is currently up by over 45% in the past year alone. The company has announced a series of acquisitions in February alone.
For instance, on February 23, 2022, the company announced that it will be acquiring Area 1 Security. Area 1 Security’s cloud-native platform, which works with any email offering, stops phishing attacks by preemptively discovering and eliminating them before they can inflict damage in a corporate environment. Impressively, the company has blocked more than 40 million malicious phishing campaigns in 2021 alone. This would include business email compromise, malware, ransomware, and other advanced threats.
Earlier in the month, the company also announced that it has acquired Vectrix. Vectrix is a company that provides businesses one-click visibility and control across all their Software-as-a-Service applications. Vectrix will enhance Cloudflare’s existing Zero Trust platform, Cloudflare One, by allowing security teams to scan third-party tools – including Google Workspace, GitHub, and AWS. It will allow them to detect and mitigate issues like inappropriate file sharing and user permission misconfigurations. With this series of acquisitions, is NET stock a buy right now?
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Another area of modern-day cybersecurity to consider now would be personal identity and access management. When it comes to this, Okta is a go-to for many among its industry peers. For the most part, Okta provides cloud software via a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. Through its offerings, the company helps clients manage and secure user authentication capabilities into their applications. Additionally, Okta also enables developers to build identity controls across company websites, proprietary applications, and devices.
In the larger scheme of things, this would be a crucial region to cover amidst the current cyber attack concerns. For one thing, analysts at JMP Securities, a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group (NYSE: CFG), seem bullish on OKTA stock. Earlier this week, the firm hit OKTA stock with an Outperform rating while raising its price target. As it stands, JMP is holding a $260 price target for the company’s shares. This would imply an upside of about 53% over its current price of $169.00 as of 10:05 a.m.
All in all, JMP cites Okta’s strong momentum in the Customer Identity and Access Management market. This would be courtesy of the company’s massive acquisition of Auth0 last year. On top of that, the firm also notes that Okta is expanding into new identity-focused cybersecurity areas. These are its moves towards the Privileged Access Management and Identity Governance and Administration markets. With Okta aggressively building its core SaaS capabilities, OKTA stock could be worth keeping an eye on now.
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