Palo Alto Networks
This company was a momentum trader’s dream before crashing back to earth. Palo Alto Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: PANW) is helping to lead a new era in cybersecurity by protecting thousands of enterprise, government and service provider networks from cyber threats, and it boasts a staggering year-over-year billing growth. Unlike fragmented legacy products, its security platform safely enables business operations and delivers protection based on what matters most in today’s dynamic computing environments: applications, users and content.
Palo Alto Networks security platform has new features that were introduced to help security professionals overcome the distractions and time spent on problems caused by the overwhelming volume of alerts and manual processes associated with operating many discrete security products, and, instead, expand breach prevention capabilities and boost operational efficiency.
The $180 Stifel price target is compares with a consensus price objective of $149.37. The shares closed most recently at $134.14 apiece.
This smaller cap company had a 2016 IPO and could potentially explode for investors this year. SecureWorks Corp. (NASDAQ: SCWX) is a security services carve-out of Dell, and it offers its global customers security services, outsourcing and consulting. The company is a leader in the $8.7 billion managed security services market, and it also addresses the broader IT security outsourcing and consulting markets.
The company combines its proprietary software platform, the Counter Threat Platform, with its internal security experts to remotely monitor and manage customer-owned security appliances.
SecureWorks reported first-quarter fiscal 2018 revenue that was ahead of some estimates, and its forward guidance was in line with expectations. With spending expected to remain elevated throughout the rest of 2017, the break even on EBITDA may have been pushed out a little farther.
The Stifel price objective is $15. The posted consensus price target $12.15, and the shares closed on Monday at $9.46.
This is another company that, while not a pure-play security stock, is a big potential winner in the overall sector. Varonis Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: VRNS) is a leading provider of software solutions that protect data from insider threats and cyberattacks.
Through an innovative software platform, Varonis allows organizations to analyze, secure, manage and migrate their volumes of unstructured data. Varonis specializes in file and email systems that store valuable spreadsheets, word processing documents, presentations, audio and video files, emails and text. This rapidly growing data often contains an enterprise’s financial information, product plans, strategic initiatives, intellectual property and confidential employee, customer or patient records.
IT and business personnel deploy Varonis software for a variety of use cases, including data security, governance and compliance, user behavior analytics, archiving, search, and file synchronization and sharing.
Stifel has set its price target at $37. The consensus target is $39, and the shares closed Monday at $36.20.
While the whirlwind around the top stocks in the sector has really slowed from the 2013 to 2015 pace, the need is increasing every year sequentially. These top stocks offer investors solid ways to play the sector in a multitude of areas.
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