Recent cyberattacks have demonstrated the fragility of the systems we have in place to protect everything from our water supplies to our electricity grids. Even sensitive government networks are vulnerable to hackers, observes Gordon Pape, editor of Internet Wealth Builder.
Investors might want to look instead at Okta Inc. (OKTA); the company went public in 2017 at $17 a share. It’s now one of the fastest-growing enterprise software companies in the public market.
The San Francisco-based business is aimed at thwarting hackers and preventing identity theft. Its “Identity Cloud” enables organizations to operate securely in cyberspace, including companies like JetBlue, Nordstrom, Siemens, Slack, Takeda, Teach for America, and Twilio.
In practice, what this usually means is a two-step identification process. For example, the bank I use won’t accept a simple log-in anymore. After I’ve entered my username and password, the website sends a unique, time-sensitive passcode to my cell phone. I must enter that information before I can access my account. If your bank isn’t using double authentication, expect it to start soon.
Okta, like many other relatively new tech start-ups, is seeing its business grow quickly but still not making any profits. Second quarter results for fiscal 2022 (to July 31) showed revenue of $316 million (figures in US dollars), an increase of 57% year- over-year. The company is forecasting full year revenue for fiscal 2022 of $1.243 billion to $1.250 billion, representing a growth rate of 49% to 50% year-over-year.
Those are impressive numbers, but the company is bleeding red ink. Second quarter loss was $276.7 million ($1.83 per share). For the first half of the fiscal year, the loss was $385.9 million ($2.72 a share). The company is well-financed, however. As of the end of July, it reported cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments of $2.47 billion.
This should be considered a speculative investment at this point. But there could be significant upside potential given the nature of the company’s business, enhanced concern over identity theft and hacking, and the company’s ambitious sales targets. It’s worth tucking away a few shares in the moonshots portion of your portfolio.