Coming off of the worst trading day since 1987 on Monday, and a getting an encouraging but mild bounce back on Tuesday, many investors can barely find the nerve to open their bludgeoned brokerage accounts, and with good reason. Since February 19, in less than a month, the S&P 500 dropped a stunning 1,000 points, or the equivalent of 30%.
The incredible velocity of the sell-off has stunned even market veterans, as everything has been sold to manage redemptions, margin calls and overall investor panic. Software has been mauled, but one silo of the software stocks isn’t about gaming for millennials. Security software is a must-have for corporations and governments big or small, and the coronavirus will not stop companies from having to purchase and maintain a very secure presence.
A new SunTrust research report, while acknowledging the difficulties the top security software companies will face as a result of the pandemic, reminds investors of the continued need and the somewhat more defensive posture many of the top stocks in the industry enjoy. The report noted this:
We continue to view cybersecurity as an imperative for modern businesses given the constantly changing threat surface and believe that the portion of budgets earmarked for security spending by enterprises are relatively safe in comparison with other segments of technology. We believe that this period will underscore the advantages of the subscription based business models who should see enhanced stability on the top line as a result of their ratably recognized contracts.
SunTrust has numerous security software companies rated Buy. Here are the four with the biggest percentage upside to the firm’s price targets.
This off-the radar pick has big upside to the SunTrust price objective, and it could be a potential takeover target. Cloudflare Inc. (NYSE: NET) engages in the provision of cloud-based services to secure websites. It offers various products for performance and reliability, video streaming and delivery, advanced security, insights, Cloudflare for developers, domain registration and Cloudflare marketplace.
With many companies requiring employees to work from home, that has put a strain on security. Cloudflare is helping companies to deal with hardships imposed by the pandemic, and they said this on their website:
We recognize that this emergency has put a strain on the infrastructure of companies around the world as more employees work from home. On Monday Cloudflare made our Cloudflare for Teams product, which helps support secure and efficient remote work, free for small businesses through September 1.
As the severity of the emergency has become clearer over the course of this week, we decided to extend this offer to help any business, regardless of size. The healthy functioning of our economy globally depends on work continuing to get done, even as people need to do that work remotely. If Cloudflare can do anything to help ensure that happens, we believe it is our duty to do so.
SunTrust has set a $24 price target for the shares, while the Wall Street consensus target is $23.42. The stock closed trading on Tuesday at $18.69, up a stunning 17% on the day.
Shares of this cybersecurity giant were cut in half and offer some tremendous value. CrowdStrike Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: CRWD) is a leader in the endpoint protection platform (EPP) market. EPP solutions help protect enterprises’ internet-connected devices from cyberattacks, and there is a market shift from signature-based on-premises solutions to cloud-based platforms that use machine learning.
CrowdStrike’s platform is one of the few 100% cloud-based architectures and is uniquely positioned to displace incumbents with its platform breadth, including advanced detection and remediation capabilities.
The company announced earlier this year that it will deliver automated sensor deployment of CrowdStrike Falcon on Google Cloud Platform. The offering will be available with Google Cloud Operating System Configuration that automates software installation and simplifies resource management. With automated sensor deployment, joint customers can easily install the lightweight CrowdStrike Falcon sensor for new Compute Engine resources on Google Cloud.
The SunTrust price target is a massive $80, and the posted consensus target is $77.67. The last trade on Tuesday came in at $38.01, after gaining 15%.