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Why Cyber Security Stocks Got Smacked on Monday

By Brian Pacampara – Feb 8, 2016 at 12:44PM

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The pain in the cyber-security space doesn't seem to be letting up.

What: The slaughter in cyber security continues. At one point or another, Palo Alto Networks (PANW 2.67%)FireEye (MNDT)Sierra Wireless (SWIR)Arista Networks (ANET 2.36%), and CyberArk Software (CYBR 2.01%) were all down at least 10% on Monday, extending the beatdown that the group received last week. 

So WhatGeneral market malaise -- particularly in the technology sector -- seems to be the main source of today's pain, suggesting that Mr. Market might be offering up an attractive opportunity for bargain-seeking investors. Of course, Sierra Wireless did post rather poor results and guidance last week, so Mr. Market could also be dumping the group on the fear of more disappointing, cyber-security-related results to come. 

Now what: FireEye and CyberArk are scheduled to report earnings on Thursday, so that will be a good chance for investors to refocus on what really matters: operating execution and growth opportunities. As my Foolish colleague David Kretzmann said about FireEye's long-term potential last month: "This is a company, similar to Netflix, they're trying to capture a share of what's a very large and fragmented market, which is cyber security. Cyber security as a whole, globally, is anticipated to grow 10% annually to $170 billion in size by 2020." So while the big drop in cyber-security stocks certainly isn't pretty, the long-term story is the one worth following.

Brian Pacampara has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Arista Networks, FireEye, and Sierra Wireless. The Motley Fool recommends CyberArk Software and Palo Alto Networks. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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