As the bear market came barreling through 2022, growth stocks and tech stocks took the brunt of the beating. However, one theme that stood strong was cybersecurity. As a result, that should have investors looking at cybersecurity stocks to buy.
Let’s face the facts, though.
Cybersecurity stocks also took a good beating, as they too are growth and tech stocks. Not to mention, many of these names tend to sport elevated valuations. That made it easy for bears to short, as these stocks simply cannot support a high valuation in a rising-rate, bearish environment.
That said, spend an hour or two digging through the press releases and conference calls for the three stocks listed below. Those management teams are not shy whatsoever about how well business is going.
With that, let’s look at three cybersecurity stocks to buy.
|PANW||Palo Alto Networks||$161.73|
Palo Alto Networks (PANW)
Without a question, Palo Alto Networks (NASDAQ:PANW) is the blue-chip stock when we’re talking about cybersecurity stocks to buy.
The company recently reported its fourth-quarter results. Despite a terrible year for the markets, Palo Alto put up 30% revenue growth last year. For this year, management isn’t flinching. They expect 25% revenue growth this year, more than analysts were expecting at the time of the report.
During the conference call, management said many of its customers “increasingly have the confidence” to make longer-term deals with Palo Alto. Furthermore, “the vast majority of our customers continue on their investments here despite the expected short-term macro impacts.”
The truth is rather straightforward: Companies continue to invest in cybersecurity because they have to. In good markets or bad — and in strong economies or weak — cyber-criminals are constantly at work. They are looking to hack, steal and sell customer information. So regardless of whether companies are in prosperous times or lean times, they need to keep their defensive systems engaged.
When we look outside of Palo Alto, we start to find higher growth stocks like CrowdStrike (NASDAQ:CRWD). At the same time, that also means we find cybersecurity stocks with higher valuations.
For example, this company sports trailing revenue growth of 61% — that’s not a typo, 61%!
For FY 2023, estimates call for 54% growth, then 32.5% growth or more in each of the next three fiscal years. While it’s possible that these estimates do not come to fruition, it shows just how strong the growth is that this company is enjoying right now.
While CrowdStrike is not yet profitable on a GAAP basis, it continues to generate strong non-GAAP earnings. Consensus estimates call for this year’s results to double to $1.32 a share, then grow to more than $4 a share in the next three years. When the company reported its second-quarter earnings on Aug. 30, it delivered a top- and bottom-line beat. However, more impressively, it raised its full-year earnings and revenue outlook.
This company is growing like a weed and it doesn’t look ready to stop anytime soon.
Last but certainly not least, we have Datadog (NASDAQ:DDOG). With a market cap of $24.808 billion, it’s certainly not a small company. However, Datadog is the smallest of the three companies on this list. Furthermore, the company went public just before Covid-19 hit, making its public debut in the second half of 2019. Since then, it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster.
Shares sank 42% amid the Covid-19 selloff, then exploded higher by almost 600% in just over six quarters. However, after coughing up two-thirds of its value, investors are now on the prowl for a potential bargain.
This company has a lot of operational similarities to CrowdStrike.
For instance, Datadog is also non-GAAP profitable, but operating at a GAAP loss. Also like CrowdStrike, the company delivered an earnings and revenue beat last quarter, then raised its full-year guidance. While these stocks are not yet being rewarded for these beat-and-raise quarters, they will be eventually.
Datadog actually generates a better operating margin than CrowdStrike, but its growth profile is a tad bumpier. Analysts expect about 61% revenue growth this year, then 34% growth next year. In 2025 and 2026, consensus estimates accelerate, calling for 35% and 44.5% growth, respectively.
If this company can flip to positive GAAP operating margins, then look out.
On the date of publication, Bret Kenwell did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.