It’s only a matter of time before we’re hit with another massive cyberattack, and that’s why we’re looking at some of the hottest cybersecurity stocks to own today.
At the moment, cities, hospitals, schools, corporations, small businesses and even U.S. government agencies are all vulnerable. Even your information isn’t safe. Your most personal information, banking details, social security numbers and your children’s information. And just in case you think hackers can’t get to you, it’s already happened. Worse, according to Cybersecurity Ventures, global cybercrime costs will grow about 15% a year, reaching $10.5 trillion by 2025 (up from $3 trillion in 2015). That alone is a good reason for investors to look at some of the hottest cybersecurity stocks on the market.
Yet, none of us are prepared at all. “Cybercrime costs include damage and destruction of data, stolen money, lost productivity, theft of intellectual property, theft of personal and financial data, embezzlement, fraud, post-attack disruption to the normal course of business, forensic investigation, restoration and deletion of hacked data and systems and reputational harm,” says Steve Morgan, founder of Cybersecurity Ventures.
Right now, according to Forbes, about 41% of security executives in a poll by ThoughtLab don’t think their companies are prepared. In a different global study, 82% of CIOs said their software supply chains are vulnerable. Unfortunately, the world may never be fully prepared. However, while we wait for the world to finally wake up, we can at least profit from the story.
|BUG||Global X Cybersecurity ETF||$22.85|
|HACK||ETFMG Prime Cyber Security ETF||$46.23|
|PANW||Palo Alto Networks||$161.78|
Global X Cybersecurity ETF (BUG)
One of the best ways to trade any hot sector is with an exchange-traded fund (ETF), such as the Global X Cybersecurity ETF (NASDAQ:BUG). Not only does BUG offer greater diversification, but it does so at far less cost. With an expense ratio of 0.50%, the BUG ETF offers exposure to 27 holdings, which will benefit from adoption of cybersecurity adoption.
Some of its top holdings include Fortinet (NASDAQ:FTNT), Palo Alto (NASDAQ:PANW), Check Point Software (NASDAQ:CHKP), Okta (NASDAQ:OKTA) and Rapid7 (NASDAQ:RPD) to name a few. With BUG, I can buy 100 shares for $2,285 at the moment, and gain massive exposure to these names. Or, I can buy 100 shares of, for the sake of example, PANW, and pay just over $16,000 for the same amount of the one stock. In short, ETFs just make sense.
ETFMG Prime Cyber Security ETF (HACK)
Another solid, oversold cyber security ETF to consider is the ETFMG Prime Cyber Security ETF (NYSEARCA:HACK). With an expense ratio of 0.60%, this ETF invests in cyber security solutions that include hardware, software and services. Some of its top holdings include BAE Systems (OTCMKTS:BAESY), Leidos Holdings (NYSE:LDOS), VeriSign (NASDAQ:VRSN), Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO), Fortinet, Check Point Software and Splunk (NASDAQ:SPLK). While the HACK ETF didn’t have an impressive outing in 2022, most other stocks didn’t either. Plus, with a growing, unstoppable cybersecurity threat, demand will only drive revenues higher.
Palo Alto Networks (PANW)
Palo Alto Networks is the crème de la crème of top cybersecurity stocks to buy. With solid demand, the company continues to produce strong earnings. In its first quarter, the company beat on earnings and sales, and then raised its guidance for the full year.
Revenue was up 25% year-over-year to $1.56 billion, which was above the company’s own guidance range of $1.535 billion to $1.555 billion. Non-GAAP profits came in at $266.4 million, or 83 cents a share, up from $170.3 million, or 55 cents, year-over-year. For the year, PANW now expects sales to fall in a range of $6.85 billion to $6.91 billion, which is up slightly from its prior sales forecast range of $6.85 billion to $6.9 billion. Growth was driven by customers increasing commitments to company platforms.
Analysts at Evercore ISI just raised its price target on PANW to $215 from $207, with an outperform rating. BMO Capital also just raised its target to $225 from $218, with an outperform rating on the stock, too.
Investors should also take a look at Crowdstrike (NASDAQ:CRWD). Over the last few weeks, the company gapped from about $140 to $115, where it appears to have found strong support. While the company reported annual recurring revenue of $2.34 billion, up 54% year-over-year, CEO George Kurtz said that was below expectations. A year earlier, that revenue number was up 67%. In the third quarter, the company also said it added 1,460 net subscription customers, which was down from 1,607 a year earlier.
However, even though numbers weren’t up to par, analysts at Morgan Stanley believe the pullback is a buying opportunity. “With forward estimates appropriately level set, we think this pullback provides an attractive entry point to accumulate shares in a premier SaaS security franchise,” said the firm, as quoted by CNBC.
Daiwa Capital Markets analyst Stephen Bersey also upgraded CRWD to a buy rating with a price target of $181 a share. The analyst liked the quarterly results and cost control.
With a market cap of $24.4 billion, Datadog (NASDAQ:DDOG) didn’t have a great year either. Then again, many companies didn’t. 2022 was a train wreck of a year. However, I’d use the weakness in DDOG as a buying opportunity, especially with it being a leader in the $62 billion “observability” market.
After all, observability is essential. It helps provide companies with insight into metrics, traces and logs. It can also help determine when an attack occurred, insight into what attackers did while inside the company and help improve security in the future.
Even better, billionaires are investing in DDOG. Stanley Druckenmiller, for example, bought about 790,000 shares over the last few months. Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies also bought about 331,000 shares. All of this is occurring as the company continues to grow. In the third quarter, DDOG posted 61% year-over-year revenue growth to $437 million. Even its net loss improved, to a loss of $14 million from $40 million over the last year. In addition, the company has a net retention rate of more than 130%, which is unheard of with software companies.
Fortinet is another one of the big players in cybersecurity, with strong growth. In the company’s third quarter, revenue was up 33% year-over-year to $1.15 billion. All of this is thanks to a 39% jump in product sales and a 28% jump in services revenue. EPS was up 65% to 33 cents, as cash flow soared 20% to $395 million.
There’s plenty more to like about FTNT here. For example, once FTNT software is installed, customers will continue to pay for ongoing software and services. The company has also been investing in employee endpoint protection, which is essential for remote employees.
While the company did guide for $1.69 billion in billings, which is at the midpoint of its guidance, it was below Street expectations for $1.74 billion. While that’s a negative, billings are on course to jump about 30% year-over-year, which is still very healthy.
SentinelOne (NYSE:S) is another hot cybersecurity stock to buy and hold. It is using artificial intelligence via its Singularity platform to deliver protection for its customers. According to the company, the platform is delivering the speed and assessment necessary to fend off modern-day cyber threats, which continue to evolve.
Even better, earnings and guidance are solid. In its third quarter, adjusted EPS came in at 16 cents lost on sales of $115.32 million. That was far better than the expectation for a loss of 25 cents on sales of $95.7 million. That unexpected profit was driven by a 106% jump in revenue, which was fueled by the adoption of the company’s cloud offerings. For Q4 2022, the company expects revenue to come in around $125 million. It also expects full-year revenue to fall in the range of $420 million and $421 million, as compared to expectations for $416 million.
On the date of publication, Ian Cooper did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.