Shares of SailPoint Technologies (NYSE:SAIL) have soared today, up by 7% as of 1 p.m. EDT, after receiving a double upgrade from Goldman Sachs. The investment bank boosted its rating all the way from sell to buy.
Analyst Brian Essex also significantly raised his price target on the stock from $17 to $31, pointing to the company's leadership in its market. Additionally, he is encouraged by recent channel checks that suggest that SailPoint has a "substantially more positive outlook" going forward amid the accelerated transition to remote work, which will boost demand for identity and access management (IAM) providers.
"We continue to view SailPoint as a leader within the [identity governance and administration] market, poised to address enterprise demand for a more streamlined and automated approach to provisioning and managing digital identities and access," the analyst wrote in a research note to investors. "Our initial Sell rating on SAIL was driven by recent execution issues, the volatility of the company's perpetual-focused model, and industry conversations during the onset of the pandemic which reflected a difficult setup for the stock."
Within the broader IAM market, the identity governance and administration subcategory is a "critical segment with compelling long-term demand," in Essex's view.
It's worth noting that the pandemic has not really impacted IAM tech companies meaningfully, although some providers like Okta have warned that IT budgets could be impacted longer-term. SailPoint in May withdrew its guidance due to ongoing uncertainty related to COVID-19.