The current market environment has confused many investors. The S&P 500 has rallied by almost 20% since the June lows, leaving investors wondering whether the market has begun a recovery or remains in a bear market rally.
However, some growth tech stocks can still perform regardless of where the market stands. Knowing that, investors looking to put money to work may want to consider Crowdstrike (CRWD 0.98%), SentinelOne (S 1.57%), and PubMatic (PUBM 27.25%).
Crowdstrike's AI sifts through massive amounts of data to prevent security breaches
Jake Lerch (Crowdstrike): According to IBM, the average cost of a cybercrime incident is now $4.35 million. That's a lot of dough; however, the reputational risks of a data breach can be vastly higher. With so much at stake, organizations are turning to companies like Crowdstrike to beef up their cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity is like a high-stakes game of chess. On one side, hackers are constantly working to exploit weaknesses. Meanwhile, organizations must continually upgrade their defenses to protect their data, assets, and customers. And in this never-ending chess match between the good guys and the bad guys, artificial intelligence (AI) is playing an ever-more important role.
Crowdstrike's Falcon software compiles reams of data that are then analyzed by its Threat Graph AI, which then predicts and prevents security breaches. Through the power of this network effect, the company's software becomes more effective at learning and preventing violations before they happen.
The numbers here are staggering. Crowdstrike estimates that its Threat Graph AI tracks over 5 trillion events weekly. The company estimates that it prevents 75,000 security breaches annually by sifting through this massive amount of data and then proactively blocking suspicious activity.
Customers are flocking to Crowdstrike; the company now boasts just shy of 18,000 clients -- up 57% year over year. Moreover, its customers continue to pay more and more for its security software.
Crowdstrike remains well within the growth phase of its development. Analysts expect it to record revenue growth of 52% in fiscal 2023 (the 12 months ending on Jan. 31, 2023) and 36% in fiscal 2024.
For investors looking to juice their portfolios with a high-growth tech stock, Crowdstrike is a name to remember.
A cybersecurity company growing revenue at breakneck speed
Justin Pope (SentinelOne): The global economy is going digital. Whether it's a company that sells an online service, or a factory using software to manage production, technology is infiltrating businesses of all types. Nearly one in five CEOs in a 2021 survey cited cybersecurity risks as their companies' biggest threat in the coming years.
SentinelOne is a cybersecurity company that uses artificial intelligence to detect and deter cyber threats on its XDR platform. It maps out a computer or device's actions into stories, and the AI analyzes them to find suspicious activity in real time. This is superior to traditional anti-virus software that relies on updates to stay relevant and can only identify cyber threats that already exist in its database.
The company is growing rapidly. Revenue grew 120% year over year in the fiscal year 2022, ending Jan. 31, 2022. Management's revenue guidance for its fiscal 2023 year calls for 99% growth. SentinelOne serves three companies in the Fortune 10 and 7,450 in all.
SentinelOne is nowhere near profitable, arguably the biggest knock on the company today. However, the operating margin has improved as revenue grows, a good sign for eventual profitability if it continues.
Fortunately, SentinelOne is flush with cash. It burned through $128 million over the past year but has $1.6 billion in cash against zero debt. This gives the company plenty of capital to keep its foot on the growth pedal without a short-term need to raise more money.
The stock came public last year and became one of Wall Street's highest-valued companies at a price-to-sales ratio (P/S) exceeding 100. The ongoing bear market has knocked the price down while revenue has continued growing. Now at a P/S of 26, the stock is much more reasonable and could be a big winner over the years if its impressive growth can keep its momentum.
Recession threats have not stopped this digital ad publisher
Will Healy (PubMatic): The sluggish economic environment has not stopped this advertising juggernaut. Its $1.2 billion market cap places it in small-cap territory, but its platform could deliver an outsized impact on PubMatic's industry as more ad spending shifts to digital formats.
PubMatic bills itself as the "supply chain of the future" for digital advertising. It provides solutions for buyers, developers, and ad publishers on mobile apps, videos, and websites. Due to the limits Apple's ecosystem has placed on gathering consumer data, some sites have struggled to target ad spending appropriately.
Apple's move plays into PubMatic's hands, as it can shift ads to formats less restricted by Apple, such as connected TV. Such flexibility can help during a downturn, a time when companies may desire a different advertising strategy.
The revenue growth seems to validate PubMatic's approach. For the first half of the year, revenue came in at $118 million, 26% higher than in the same period in 2021. Still, the 46% increase in the cost of revenue and a 30% rise in operating expenses weighed on earnings. While it turned a $13 million profit in the first two quarters of 2022, net income came in at $15 million during the same time frame last year.
For 2022, PubMatic believes it will bring in between $277 million and $281 million, a 23% increase at the midpoint, a slight drop from the first half of the year. Also, it has fallen victim to the bear market like many other stocks. It sells for approximately half of its November high.
However, it has remained profitable and increased revenue despite negative economic growth. Moreover, its P/E ratio of 24 makes it a bargain tech stock and probably helps it stand out over rival Magnite, which is not profitable. As its industry continues a digital shift, PubMatic looks poised to facilitate an increasing number of targeted ads.