The stock market sell-off of 2022 hasn’t spared cybersecurity stocks, as companies operating in this industry have seen their share prices drop despite impressive growth in their businesses. But the sell-off has created an opportunity for savvy investors to buy some fast-growing companies at relatively attractive valuations.
After all, the cybersecurity market is set for impressive growth in the long haul as individuals and organizations are expected to ramp up their spending on bolstering their defenses to ward off the growing threat from bad actors. According to Gartner, cybersecurity spending in 2022 could hit $172 billion. The World Economic Forum estimates that by 2035, annual cybersecurity spending could top $1 trillion.
So, investors can set their portfolios up for long-term gains by investing in top cybersecurity stocks that could take advantage of the massive end-market opportunity on offer. CrowdStrike Holdings (NASDAQ: CRWD) and Fortinet (NASDAQ: FTNT) are two such cybersecurity stocks that investors can consider buying right now, following their 20% slides on the market so far this year. Let’s look at the reasons why these two companies can win big from the cybersecurity market’s growth.
1. CrowdStrike Holdings
CrowdStrike Holdings operates in a fast-growing niche of the cybersecurity market as it provides a cloud-native platform to protect endpoints, identities, data, and cloud workloads. This puts CrowdStrike in a solid position to sustain its rapid top- and bottom-line growth in the long run. That’s because Gartner estimates that by 2025, 95% of new digital workloads will be deployed on cloud-native platforms.
For comparison, only 30% of digital workloads were deployed on cloud-native platforms in 2021. This indicates that the demand for cloud-native cybersecurity solutions will head higher. Not surprisingly, CrowdStrike expects massive growth in its total addressable market (TAM) opportunity. The company had a TAM worth $25 billion at the time of its initial public offering (IPO) in 2019. That figure is expected to go up to $75 billion next year and $97 billion in 2025 based on CrowdStrike’s current offerings.
It is worth noting that CrowdStrike sees its addressable opportunity balloon to $158 billion in 2026 after accounting for its planned future product roadmap and the secular growth of the cybersecurity market. So, it won’t be surprising to see the company sustain the impressive growth it has been clocking. In the second quarter of fiscal 2023 (for the three months ending July 31, 2022), CrowdStrike’s revenue was up 58% year over year to $535 million.
The company’s annual recurring revenue (ARR) also jumped an impressive 59% over the prior-year period to $2.14 billion. The ARR represents the annualized value of customer contracts at the end of a period, so the sharp spike in this metric suggests that CrowdStrike has a robust revenue pipeline.
The size of CrowdStrike’s TAM, its rapid growth, and the company’s ability to cross-sell multiple cybersecurity modules to its subscription customers tell us why analysts are upbeat about its long-term prospects. More specifically, analysts expect nearly 74% annual earnings growth from CrowdStrike for the next five years. The discussion above indicates that it could keep growing at elevated levels beyond that period as well.
So, CrowdStrike looks like a solid bet for growth-oriented investors following its slide in 2022 as it is trading at 20 times sales as compared to its 2021 price-to-sales ratio of 36. There is no doubt that the stock is expensive even after its pullback, but it can justify the rich valuation by sustaining its terrific growth in the future.
Fortinet is another fast-growing cybersecurity company that took a beating this year amid the stock market sell-off, losing 23% of its value. Still, it trades at an expensive 68 times trailing earnings. But the forward earnings multiple of 43 suggests that the company’s bottom line is on track to jump sharply in the future. It is also worth noting that Fortinet stock is relatively cheap right now as compared to its five-year average earnings multiple of 90.
So, investors on the hunt for a growth stock may want to take advantage of Fortinet’s relatively cheap valuation and buy it for a few simple reasons.
First, the company is benefiting from the cybersecurity market, as its impressive growth indicates. In the second quarter of 2022, Fortinet’s total revenue spiked 29% year over year to $1.03 billion. Bookings, which refer to the total orders received by Fortinet during the quarter, grew at a faster pace of 42% over the prior year to $1.38 billion. This also explains why Fortinet’s deferred revenue was up 35% year over year to $2.91 billion at the end of the second quarter.
The faster growth in Fortinet’s billings and deferred revenue — which is the money collected in advance for services to be rendered later — suggests that the company is sitting on a solid revenue pipeline. Not surprisingly, Fortinet’s top-line growth is expected to remain healthy in the next couple of fiscal years.
But more importantly, Fortinet can sustain its impressive growth for a long time as it is a key player in lucrative cybersecurity niches. For instance, the cybersecurity specialist controlled nearly 38% of the firewall market in 2021, leading peers such as Cisco, Check Point Software, and Palo Alto Networks by a massive margin. Fortinet’s share of the cybersecurity firewall market grew steadily over the years from less than 10% in 2009.
As a result, Fortinet is now in a tremendous position to capitalize on the growth of the security firewall market, which could be worth almost $20 billion in 2032 as compared to this year’s estimated $4.9 billion. But there is more to Fortinet than just security firewalls. The company sees $199 billion in TAM by 2026 as compared to this year’s estimate of $138 billion, driven by growth in multiple cybersecurity applications such as zero trust security, cloud security, and security operations.
As Fortinet’s end market expands and its revenue increases, the company’s bottom-line performance should also pick up the pace. Analysts anticipate 23% annual earnings growth from the company for the next five years. Fortinet could maintain such impressive growth beyond the next five years on account of the substantial opportunity it is sitting on, thereby setting investors’ portfolios up for success in the long run.
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Harsh Chauhan has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Check Point Software Technologies, Cisco Systems, CrowdStrike Holdings, Inc., Fortinet, and Palo Alto Networks. The Motley Fool recommends Gartner. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.
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