Proofpoint: Subscription-Based Cybersecurity

04/16/2018 5:00 am EST

Focus: TECHNOLOGY

Michael Cintolo

Vice President of Investments and Chief Analyst, Cabot Heritage Corporation

Proofpoint (PFPT) is a $6 billion market-cap security-as-a-service provider with increasingly popular subscription-based security solutions, notes leading growth stock expert Mike Cintolo, editor of Cabot Top Ten Trader.

The stock is doing well because of market share gains, new product advancements, accretive acquisitions and high renewal rates, all of which add up to estimated revenue growth rates of 35% this year and 28% in 2019.

The company’s emerging solutions (Email Fraud Defense, Social Media Protection and Threat Response) are just one of the attractions as they are fueling growth above Proofpoint’s core offering of email protection.

But investors have also been pleasantly surprised by the recent acquisition of Wombat Security, which specializes in phishing simulation and computer-based security training.

Analysts believe Wombat is growing at around 50%, which will help extend Proofpoint’s growth streak, as will accelerating adoption of Microsoft Office 365, for which Proofpoint offers a variety of threat protection and compliance-related solutions. Finally, we’d note that cybersecurity remains at the top of the list for stable IT spending by large companies.

With Proofpoint’s solid growth profile, good story and booming free cash flow (the company expects about $3 per share this year, up 30%), we see the name remining at the top of big investors’ buy lists.

Technically, PFPT spent the greater part of 2017 trading in the $80 to $90 range, then finally broke above resistance in late-January. The market’s early-2018 pullback dragged shares back to their 50-day line, but they quickly bounced back above $100 and walked up to $124 by mid-March as solid earnings, and news of the Wombat acquisition, drove a wave of fresh buying.

A modest pullback over the last two weeks never cracked the stock’s 50-day line, and the stock bounced nicely in recent days even as the market continued to wobble. PFPT looks like a leader in the strong cybersecurity sector—you can buy a little around here.

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