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2 Top Cybersecurity Stocks to Buy in October

By Leo Sun – Oct 14, 2021 at 7:22AM

Key Points

  • Cybersecurity spending will continue to rise across the world.
  • Tenable’s vulnerability-spotting service could help organizations plug up holes before they’re exploited
  • CyberArk’s privileged access management services could help organizations catch on-site hackers and corporate spies.

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Tenable and CyberArk deserve closer looks.

Cyberattacks have become increasingly complex and difficult to counter in recent years. They also highlight a dire need for many companies and government agencies to upgrade their aging cybersecurity defenses.

In a recent note to investors, Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives estimated that federal cybersecurity spending in the U.S. would increase 20% to 25% this year and consistently grow in 2022 in response to those threats. The global cybersecurity market could also expand at a CAGR of 10.9% between 2021 and 2028, according to Grand View Research.

A person using a secure tablet.

Image source: Getty Images.

I've covered many high-growth cybersecurity companies in the past, but today I'll focus on two lesser-known players: Tenable (TENB 4.71%) and CyberArk (CYBR 3.10%). Both of these stocks could still be worth buying this month as organizations ramp up their cybersecurity spending.

1. Tenable

Tenable's main product, Nessus, scans a company's entire infrastructure for vulnerabilities like misconfigured software, weak passwords, and flaws in the network. It offers a free version of Nessus (Nessus Home) for mainstream users and a paid version (Nessus Professional) for enterprise users.

Over 30,000 customers now use Tenable's services worldwide, including over half of the Fortune 500 and more than 30% of the Global 2000.

Tenable's revenue rose 24% to $440.2 million in 2020, and it grew another 21% year over year to $253.4 million in the first half of 2021. It remains unprofitable on a GAAP basis, but it turned profitable on a non-GAAP basis in 2020 with a net profit of $20.8 million. It also stayed in the black in the first half of 2021, with a non-GAAP net profit of $24.9 million.

Tenable expects its revenue to rise 20%-21% for the full year, and for its non-GAAP net income to increase 39%-59%. It expects that growth to be driven by a growing number of large enterprise and U.S. government deals, as well as the expansion of its Nessus ecosystem with new services.

Tenable's stock might seem expensive at 130 times forward earnings, but that multiple should cool off as its profits rise. In terms of top-line growth, its stock still looks reasonably valued at 10 times this year's sales.

2. CyberArk

CyberArk is a leader in the privileged access management (PAM) space. Instead of countering external threats, CyberArk's PAM services protect a company's network from internal threats like on-site hackers, corporate spies, and disgruntled employees. If a threat is detected, CyberArk's software locks down a company's network and traces the attack.

CyberArk provides services to over 6,900 companies worldwide, including more than half of the Fortune 500 and over 35% of the Global 2000.

The company's revenue rose 7% to $464.4 million in 2020, and it grew 8% year over year to $230 million in the first half of 2021. However, its non-GAAP net income declined 25% to $81.1 million last year, mainly due to investments, acquisition-related expenses, and foreign exchange headwinds. That pressure intensified in the first half of 2021 and caused its non-GAAP net income to tumble 89% year over year to $4.1 million.

CyberArk was profitable on a GAAP basis in 2019, but it posted net losses in 2020 and the first half of 2021. For the full year, CyberArk expects its revenue to rise 4%-7%, but for its non-GAAP EPS to drop 94%.

CyberArk's near-term earnings growth seems ugly, but it's being weighed down by its takeover of the cloud-based "identity-as-a-service" provider Idaptive for $70 million last May, as well as its ongoing transition from on-site appliances toward cloud-based services. Its stock might seem pricey at over 900 times forward earnings and 13 times this year's sales, but its growth could accelerate significantly as its niche PAM market expands.

Leo Sun has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends CyberArk Software. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Stocks Mentioned

CyberArk Software Stock Quote
CyberArk Software
CYBR
$140.17 (3.10%) $4.21
Tenable Stock Quote
Tenable
TENB
$38.66 (4.71%) $1.74

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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