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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Zscaler, Fortinet and Qualys

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – May 12, 2021 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Zscaler Inc. (ZS - Free Report) , Fortinet Inc. FTNT and Qualys, Inc. (QLYS - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

3 Security Stocks to Watch Post-Pipeline Cyberattack

The recent ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline Co. has resurfaced the rising threat that cyber crime poses worldwide. This followed the December 2020 hacking incident at SolarWinds supply chain.

Although heavy reliance on technology by business as well as individuals drove operational efficiency and eased our lives, the same increased vulnerability to cyber offences

Rapid Automation Resulting in More Cyber Raids

This simply underlines the fact that the frequent use of technology is directly proportional to the possibilities of cybercrime. Therefore, the more technology will be leveraged, higher will be the chances of virtual breaches.

Notably, the COVID-19 pandemic further fuelled the incidence of cyber onslaughts as businesses of all sizes are transitioning their operations to various online platforms. Now from working to spending, education to entertainment, and even healthcare and much more went virtual causing high technology percolation in everyday lives. This puts not only businesses but also schools, hospitals and other organizations at the receiving end of online assaults.

While public institutions and large companies have always been the target of hackers, now smaller organizations with lower security standards are reaching their radar.

Further, the advent of 5G will enable other devices to connect to the Internet, thereby expanding the scope for Iot and AI. While AI and IoT will simplify things, it will also aggravate the rate of cyber crime with accessibility of wider options as more and more activity becomes technology reliant.

Cyber Attack to Grow by Leaps and Bounds

Cybersecurity Ventures expects global cybercrime costs to grow 15% per year over the next five years, reaching $10.5 trillion, annually, by 2025, up from $3 trillion in 2015.

The United States is already hard-hit by cyber violations. In 2018, an FBI agent said that every American citizen should expect that all their data (personally identifiable information) is stolen and is on the dark web.

Research firm Gartner forecasts that the corporate computer security market will grow more than 10%, on average, annually through 2024, outpacing the 3% growth rate of spending in the information technology department.

Thus, demand for cyber security-related services and products is bound to shoot up. Companies providing these solutions are therefore good enough to be retained for your investment portfolio.

3 Stocks to Watch

Each of the below-mentioned stocks currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Zscaler offers a full range of enterprise network security services.

COVID-19 buoyed demand for the company’s products and services. Growing adoption of Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) solutions could be a key driver for Zscaler over the long run as it is one of the few vendors that offers this solution.

Its acquisitions of Edgewise and the cloud security posture management named Cloudneeti bode well for the long haul.
Zscaler’s inherent strength reflected by a strong balance sheet with ample liquidity position and less debt obligations will help it achieve long-term growth.

The company is recognized as the only Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Secure Web Gateways (December 2020).

Fortinet solutions provide multiple levels of security protection. Demand for the company’s products, such as firewall, virtual private networking (VPN), antivirus, intrusion prevention (IP), web filtering, anti-spam and wide area network (WAN) acceleration gained momentum in the pandemic era.

Per IDC, in terms of revenues, Fortinet ranks third in Unified Threat Management and is one of the fastest growing segments in Network Security.

The company’s focus on enhancing its UTM portfolio will increase its market share and maintain its leadership position.

Also the growing uptake of Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) solutions could be a key catalyst for Fortinet in the long run.

The buyouts of AccelOps, Meru Networks, Coyote Point, XDN, ZoneFox and Bradford Networks will drive long-term growth.

Fortinet’s huge customer base of more than 450,000 helps it upsell products within its installed user base. It is currently focusing on selling more subscription-based services, which will generate stable revenues and boost its margins as well.

Its strong balance sheet with ample liquidity position and no debt obligations is very impressive, which in turn, will support business growth.

Qualys is an industry leaders in the field of Vulnerability Management (VM), one of the key strategies applied to protect businesses from cyber intrusions.

The company’s revenue growth is not as encouraging as its peers, which is one of the primary reasons for investors’ indifference toward its stock. Its weak guidance for 2021 also makes investors wary. But we believe, the company’s divergence outside the VM domain into areas like Security Analytics and Orchestration (SOAR), Endpoint Security, IT Asset Management, Compliance and Web Application Security should hold great prospects.

Apart from enhancing its product and service portfolio, and diversifying revenues, the aforementioned strategy will provide the company with cross-selling and up-selling opportunities.

Bottomline

Without any doubt, the cybersecurity industry shows a sharp uptrend. Riding this wave will therefore fetch strong returns for your investment portfolio.

Bitcoin, Like the Internet Itself, Could Change Everything

Blockchain and cryptocurrency has sparked one of the most exciting discussion topics of a generation. Some call it the “Internet of Money” and predict it could change the way money works forever. If true, it could do to banks what Netflix did to Blockbuster and Amazon did to Sears. Experts agree we’re still in the early stages of this technology, and as it grows, it will create several investing opportunities.

Zacks’ has just revealed 3 companies that can help investors capitalize on the explosive profit potential of Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies with significantly less volatility than buying them directly.

See 3 crypto-related stocks now >>

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.


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