Before the Call: Staying Secure Computing

Usually, I'm in favor of billions of anything. But that's not the case with spam. Last month, more than 70 billion bogus email messages flew around the Net. No wonder security is a top spending priority for corporate techies. We'll know exactly how much of it went toward gear supplied by the aptly named Secure Computing (Nasdaq: SCUR  ) when the firm reports earnings tomorrow afternoon. 

But in these few hours before we find out if Secure is a secure stock, let's take a moment to review what investors think about it as a long-term investment. Our tool in this endeavor: Motley Fool CAPS, where we poll more than 60,000 participants for their views on well over 4,000 firms, Secure Computing among them. Here's what Fools have to say about the company.

Up or down?
More than 514 investors have weighed in on Secure Computing, including yours truly, who first made it a pick for our Rule Breakers service in October. Our subscribers are up nearly 25% since.

And I still own shares. Why? Because digital pests are everywhere and, unlike others, Secure Computing has a global network called TrustedSource that sniffs out and proactively identifies the creeps before they crawl. That's a powerful competitive advantage.

My CAPS compadres appear to agree. Roughly 97% of them think the stock is a bargain at these levels. And 96% of our best stock pickers -- the CAPS All-Stars -- say buy, resulting in a sparkling five-star rating for Secure.

Interestingly, that's not news. Quite a few digital locksmiths get the five-star salute:

Security Software and Services Group

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Actividentity (NASDAQ:ACTI)

*****

Aladdin Knowledge Systems (NASDAQ:ALDN)

*****

Double-Take Software (NASDAQ:DBTK)

*****

Digimarc (NASDAQ:DMRC)

*****

Secure Computing

*****

VASCO Data Security (NASDAQ:VDSI)

*****

Source: Motley Fool CAPS

Wall Street vs. Main Street
The white-shoe pros are far more bearish. Only two of the four following Secure Computing rate the stock an outperform. And the bears are winning, especially top growler Jim Cramer. The Mad Money host went thumbs-down last March, when Secure was trading at more than $11 a share. He's delivered a 42-point drubbing to the S&P 500 since.

Bull pitch
The Professor Positives among Secure Computing investors say that the "market underestimates earnings power and [the company's] growth potential." I'd agree. Secure is throwing off mountains of cash flow. Others point to Google's $625 million buyout of Postini as evidence of suitors waiting in the wings.

Bear pitch
Meanwhile, the Sally Sourpusses say that Secure "has to integrate big [acquisitions] and face growing competition," which is true. Last year's CipherTrust buyout, which brought Secure the TrustedSource technology, closely followed a $295 million acquisition of firewall box maker CyberGuard.

Fool on ... and on, and on, and on
Want more? To discover the Fools behind the words, to examine their records, and to find further Foolish coverage of Secure Computing, just click here.

How great is growth? Eleven of the dozens of stocks in the market-beating Motley Fool Rule Breakers portfolio, which includes Secure Computing, have more than doubled. Discover their identities with a 30-day free trial to the service.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers, who is ranked 3,434 out of more than 60,000 participants in CAPS, owned shares of Secure Computing at the time of publication. Find Tim's portfolio here and his latest blog commentary here. Actividentity is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems PayDirt recommendation. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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