Okta (OKTA 2.33%) stock soared 38.6% in April, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. Okta specializes in identity solutions that prevent hacking and unauthorized access to enterprise databases and websites.
During a live virtual event on April 1, , the company unveiled a pair of new enterprise products that use biometric technology. One of them, called Okta FastPass, lets end users create a secure link between their devices and the Okta Identity Cloud that eliminates the need for passwords.
The other, Okta Platform Services, is an extension of Okta's existing automation tools that will make it easier for IT teams and developers to build workflows across various applications and third-party services, including those from salesforce.com, Box, and Slack. Companies will also be able to more easily integrate Okta's biometric-based identity technology into their existing infrastructure, and it will let them update their identity solutions as technology changes.
Creating a frictionless way for employees to log in will save organizations a lot of time and money, and the market responded, pushing shares higher in April. A research report from Okta said 37% of employees reported being locked out of their accounts at some point, with delays and IT attention resulting in lower productivity and racking up expenses.
The same report showed a greater acceptance of biometrics in the workplace, with 70% saying they already use biometrics or would consider using them in their personal online security. At work, 24% thought biometrics could make life easier, and 13% believed they could reduce stress and anxiety at work.
Okta's well-received announcements demonstrate why many consider this company the industry leader. The company has proved itself as a growth stock. But with a price-to-sales ratio of 27, this may not be the time for investors to jump in with both feet. The company could grow into its valuation over time, but right now the stock price seems a bit high. Given Okta's ability to register rapid growth, though, buying a small position now to dollar-cost average either up or down as events unfold could be a good strategy for the long-term growth investor with a high degree of risk tolerance.
Expectations are high for Okta, but having grown over 60% in the past year despite the coronavirus-fueled stock crash, this company shows plenty of resilience and promise.