Wall Street doesn't always get things right. In fact, most analysts have been slashing their price targets left, right, and center on some of the most popular stocks this year because the broad market downturn has caught them off guard.
But sometimes a consensus emerges among these professionals that is so strong it's hard to ignore. According to The Wall Street Journal, not a single analyst recommends selling shares in Zscaler (ZS 4.01%) or Tenable (TENB 0.80%) right now, and that warrants attention in an environment where investor sentiment toward technology stocks is incredibly negative.
That positivity likely stems from the fact that both Zscaler and Tenable operate in the cybersecurity industry, which is proving largely immune to the global economic slowdown. In fact, a recent survey conducted by Wall Street investment bank Morgan Stanley suggests cybersecurity is the last expense companies plan to cut, even in the event of a recession.
1. Zscaler: Securely connecting organizations
As more of the corporate world relies on cloud computing technology to run their digital operations, employees have the capability to work from practically anywhere. Additionally, it has unified the workforces of large organizations with offices in multiple countries, laying the foundations to run a more efficient business across borders.
In the past, a company had to protect its local network from cyber risks, but with potentially thousands of employees now accessing its digital assets online, the attack surface is enormous. Put simply, it leaves the door ajar for hackers and unwanted cyber visitors. That's where Zscaler comes in with its revolutionary Zero Trust technology.
This technology treats all online interactions as hostile, regardless of a user's permissions. It uses context to validate a person trying to gain access by analyzing their location, their device, and their role within the organization. But perhaps most importantly, it connects the employee directly to the digital application or asset they're authorized to access, and not the network itself. So even if a bad actor does breach Zero Trust, they can't move laterally across the entire organization's online ecosystem.
This is a game changer in the modern era where operating online is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. As a result, Zscaler's revenue for fiscal 2022 (ended June 30) increase by 62% to $1.09 billion -- the fastest rate of growth since the company went public in 2018. Think about that for a second: In a difficult economic environment where most companies are slowing down, Zscaler's business is actually accelerating. And, its performance could continue to improve even more: Zscaler's total addressable market is estimated at $72 billion, so it has only scratched the surface of its opportunity thus far.
Despite the strong performance, Zscaler stock is still down 56% from its all-time high. Since Wall Street analysts remain bullish, with a consensus buy rating (the highest possible rating), this might be an opportunity for investors to buy the dip.
2. Tenable: The leader in vulnerability management
Conducting business online is a trend that will probably never reverse because cloud computing is making the transition into the digital realm almost seamless. While that sounds great at face value (we all love convenience), companies need innovative ways to deal with the ever-growing attack surface.
That's why it's no longer enough to just play defense. Proactive cybersecurity tools like vulnerability management and threat detection are absolutely critical. Tenable is the developer of the Nessus platform, which is ranked No. 1 in vulnerability management across multiple categories including adoption, accuracy, and coverage. It protects against over 72,000 common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs), which is more than any of its competitors.
Nessus is currently deployed in tens of thousands of organizations, with 2 million individual downloads, and its popularity stems from its versatility. The platform can be built upon and customized, which makes it ideal for businesses of all sizes.
Notably, Tenable has continued to see larger companies flocking to its platforms in 2022. In the recent second quarter (ended June 30), it had 1,191 customers spending $100,000 or more annually on its products and services, which was a 27% jump year over year.
The company has also kept its full-year guidance steady, telling investors it could generate $676 million in revenue for the whole of 2022. That's in stark contrast to other tech companies that have been cutting their forecasts. If Tenable hits that mark, it will represent 25% year-over-year growth, a boost from the 23% growth rate reported last year.
Like Zscaler, Tenable is defying the slowing economy by expanding its business at a faster rate. It's no wonder that of the 15 Wall Street analysts that cover Tenable stock, 14 have given it the highest possible buy rating, with not a single one recommending selling.