3 Debt-Free Internet Stocks

02/17/2012 9:30 am EST


Andy Obermueller

Editor, Government-Driven Investing

Most companies have been retooling since the economic maelstrom in 2009, but it's nice to see online companies that have built up balance sheets that look like solid manufacturing names, writes Andy Obermueller of Fast-Track Millionaire.

In my latest screen, I looked for profitable and debt-free US companies with a market cap of $900 million to $1 billion. Here's a look at three Internet related stocks that made my list.

Shutterfly (SFLY)
This is a Web site that lets users print photos as paper photographs or to include the image on a variety of items, like coffee mugs and calendars.

Its business is highly cyclical, as you can imagine, with the December holidays accounting for the lion's share of the revenue. Even so, the year-over-year top-line growth is impressive, at 58.7% from 2010 to 2011.

The company does nicely on the bottom line as well, at 13.3%. The growth and profitability show up right where they should: In the shareholder equity line on the balance sheet, which has doubled in the past year.

The kicker is that not only is this company debt-free, it's asset-rich. It has $180 million in cold, hard cash. Look for it to deploy this capital with robust advertising, business expansion and, potentially, acquisitions. This company is a strong long-term play. I like it at its current price.

Sourcefire (FIRE)
This is a network defense company. This is a sector where many are predicting strong growth as more and more companies seek to safeguard the data stored in their computers.

Sourcefire has a nice top-line growth trend that amounts to a 30.5% compound annual growth rate and a smokin' high P/E.

But the intrusion-prevention market was about $1.5 billion in 2010. It's projected to grow to $2.1 billion in 2014, and Sourcefire has what looks like an 8% market share, so it can continue to grow indefinitely.

One reason to be confident in that is the company's history. It was founded by Martin Roesch, a bona fide computer genius who wrote the protocol for intrusion detection. (It's called Snort.) Roesch has now built a commercial version of the software in response to industry demand, and it is clearly a leader.

There's nothing not to like about its financials. Its industry position is strong, too. I like this company for a multiyear holding period.

LogMeIn (LOGM).
This company has software that lets you access your computer remotely. It's very good technology that addresses a real need in today's world—mobility.

In the old days, I went into the office; now, my workplace is everywhere, which affords me far more flexibility—while also cutting costs for the company. More and more companies are discovering this win-win approach.

And LOGM, with a 21% net margin and a 55% compound annual growth rate, is clearly taking a leading position in filling the need. Long-term prospects are favorable. This is a great company for a general growth portfolio.

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