Earnings season for the quarter ended Sept. 30 is now in full swing, and given the steep decline in the broad market this year, this is an extremely important period. Companies' financial results could be the difference between further losses and a pivot out of bear market territory, which has gripped the Nasdaq-100 technology index in particular.

Tenable (TENB 1.41%) is a little-known company that has consistently outperformed throughout 2022, seemingly undeterred by rising inflation, higher interest rates, and the broad economic slowdown. 

Tenable is a leader in the cybersecurity industry, and its third-quarter financial results showed a surge in its top-spending customer base, plus an increase in its full-year revenue guidance, while many other companies are slashing their forecasts. Here's why 13 of 17 analysts tracked by The Wall Street Journal have given Tenable stock the highest-possible buy rating. 

Introducing: Tenable One

Tenable is the developer of a broad suite of cybersecurity products for several different industries. Whether a customer operates in financial services, manufacturing, retail, or even the government, the company has a tailored solution. Its products are focused on threat detection and vulnerability management, a set of tools designed to proactively seek threats and protect networks, especially in the cloud (online). 

The company introduced a brand-new platform called Tenable One in the third quarter, which combines five of its most successful products to deliver the ultimate high-visibility, all-in-one solution. Tenable One will enable organizations to visualize their exposure through number-based metrics which not only highlight current levels of risk but also allow for comparisons between different business units, previous points in time, and even to industry peers.

Tenable's signature vulnerability-management technology is built into the platform. It assesses which assets a potential attacker might try to exploit, and it can predict the impact of a breach to preemptively protect (and disrupt) those attack paths.

The company is well positioned to offer this solution thanks to its leadership position in the threat detection and vulnerability-management space through its Nessus platform. Nessus is one of the most popular solutions in the industry with tens of thousands of organizations on board and over two million individual downloads. It protects against more common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs) than many of its competitors, and Nessus' customizable nature makes it ideal for businesses of all sizes.

Tenable delivered another record quarter

Tenable generated $174.9 million in revenue during the third quarter, beating its own expectations by $3.9 million and growing 26% year over year. The strong result prompted the company to raise its revenue guidance for the full year to $680.6 million at the high end of its range. That's in stark contrast to many other companies in the tech sector, which have pared back their estimates.

In the third quarter, Tenable reported having 1,280 customers with annual contract values of at least $100,000 annually, up 28% over the same time last year and highlighting the surging demand for proactive cybersecurity tools among large organizations.

A chart of Tenable's growing six-figure customer base.

Tenable isn't turning a profit just yet, because it's still investing in growth to capture what it believes is a $25 billion total addressable market. It generated a net loss of $18 million in the third quarter, though it's worth pointing out the company has over $548 million in cash, equivalents, and short-term investments on its balance sheet, so it has plenty of breathing room in the short-to-medium term. 

Wall Street is bullish on Tenable stock

The Wall Street Journal tracks 17 analysts covering Tenable, and 76% of them have given it the highest-possible buy rating. The rest are in the overweight (bullish) and neutral camps, with not a single one recommending selling the stock.

It should come as no surprise given Tenable is a leader in a booming industry. A recent survey of top corporate chief information officers -- conducted by Morgan Stanley -- revealed that cybersecurity is the last expense companies intend to cut back on, even if a recession hits. 

Similarly, 722 corporate leaders ranked cyber risk as the greatest threat to revenue at the moment in a survey conducted by global consulting firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers. 

Tailwinds that strong make a great case for buying Tenable stock, especially since it's currently trading at a 37% discount to its all-time high.