What: Shares of CyberArk Software (CYBR -1.20%) rose 11.2% last month, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. The cyberattack-prevention specialist is enjoying strong demand for its "privileged account" security solutions, which help to protect against the most-advanced cyberthreats -- those that use insider privileges to penetrate network perimeters and attack the most-vital aspects of an enterprise's IT infrastructure.
So what: CyberArk surpassed Wall Street's expectations when it reported first-quarter results on May 5th. Revenue jumped 43% year over year, to $46.9 million, and adjusted earnings per share leapt 44%, to $0.23. That topped analysts' estimates for revenue of $43.4 million and adjusted EPS of $0.16.
Even better, management boosted its full-year forecast, with 2016 revenue and adjusted EPS now projected to be in the ranges of $209 million to $211 million, and $0.87 to $0.91 respectively, compared to CyberArk's prior guidance of $205 million to $207 million, and $0.83 to $0.86. Wall Street cheered these strong results, and several companies raised their ratings and price targets for CyberArk's stock.
Now what: During the company's earnings conference call, CEO Udi Mokady said that CyberArk is "just scratching the surface" of its tremendous potential. Cyber attacks are growing in size and sophistication -- a worrisome trend that's unfortunately likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
However, it's this trend that's helping to make CyberArk's best-in-class privileged account-security solutions increasingly vital to organizations of all sizes. In turn, the cybersecurity specialist is rapidly expanding its client base, both within its core enterprise segment, and in fast-growing adjacent areas such as government organizations, universities, and mid-sized businesses.
Additionally, CyberArk is strengthening its alliances with the providers of ancillary cybersecurity solutions, such as threat-prevention leader FireEye, and antivirus software-maker Symantec, which should help to further insulate CyberArk from the competition. Moreover, its profitable operations, cash-filled balance sheet, and only $1.5 billion market cap could lead larger cybersecurity companies to attempt to acquire CyberArk -- likely at a substantial premium to today's prices -- rather than compete with it directly. As such, CyberArk's leading position within its fast-growing privileged-account niche appears well secured.
While shares rose 11% in May, CyberArk's stock is still down 30% during the past year. That gives investors a chance to pick up some shares of the cybersecurity leader at a considerable discount to where they were trading this time last year. More importantly, if CyberArk can continue to compete and win within this important, emerging industry -- and I believe it can -- today's prices may turn out to be quite a bargain in the years ahead.