Shares of cybersecurity company CrowdStrike Holdings (CRWD -0.25%) jumped sharply on Tuesday, rising 8%. The stock's gain came as one analyst gave his 12-month price target for the company's shares a significant boost. His incrementally bullish view is due to his survey of some of CrowdStrike's customers, which revealed some interesting insights.
Here's what the analyst said, and why he may be right to be bullish on the growth stock.
Could CrowdStrike increase its customer count ninefold?
After surveying 51 of CrowdStrike's customers, Stifel analyst Brad Reback expressed optimism about the company's annual recurring revenue trajectory. Moreover, their responses suggested broad adoption of CrowdStrike's various subscription-based modules. This research affirms his view for the company's potential to grow its customer count from over 11,000 today to more than 100,000 in just four years, a ninefold increase.
Reflecting his bullish outlook, the analyst upgraded his 12-month price target for the cybersecurity stock, lifting it from $240 to $300.
The analyst's view for CrowdStrike's growth potential follows comments from CrowdStrike CEO and co-founder George Kurtz in the company's most recent earnings call that echoed the analyst's forecast for strong customer growth in the coming years. Kurtz noted that some legacy competitors have acquired hundreds of thousands of customers. "So we certainly think we can be in that arena in the future," he said.
Kurtz has confidence in growing the company's customer base substantially due to its "very efficient go-to-market motion," he explained. "[T]he platform is designed to sell itself and to get new customers. ... So we feel really good about the flywheel we've built and the sales scalability built into their platform."
The path to $3 billion+ in annual recurring revenue
CrowdStrike's business is benefiting from incredible momentum. Consider that the company had contracted $1.19 billion in annual recurring revenue by the end of its most recently reported quarter -- up 74% year over year.
Management also illustrated at its recent Investor Day presentation how it could conservatively achieve $3 billion in annual recurring revenue by fiscal 2025 simply by adding the same net new annual recurring revenue that it added in its recently ended fiscal 2021 in each of the next four years. Of course, such a conservative outlook fails to take into consideration that the company's net new annual recurring revenue growth has increased each year -- and there's no reason to expect this trend to stop in the near term. In other words, as management clarified in its Investor Day presentation, its outlook for $3 billion in annual recurring revenue by fiscal 2025 was not its official guidance -- it was simply an illustration of how this could be easily achieved. Reality will likely be much better.
Reback's optimism for CrowdStrike stock at a time of impressive momentum, therefore, is justified -- particularly if his findings from surveying more than 50 of the company's customers were as telling as he suggests.