Are Cyber-Security/Anti-Hacking Stocks the Next Bull Market?

Publié le 2 Novembre 2015

Are Cyber-Security/Anti-Hacking Stocks the Next Bull Market?

The Financial Times, citing a global watchdog, recently reported about the rising danger of cyber-attacks on financial markets.

According to Greg Medcraft, Chairman of the Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), the next major financial shock will come from cyber space.

It is not just the financial markets that are vulnerable to cyber-attacks, but even Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and multilateral organizations such as the World Bank and IMF.

Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal noted in an article that companies are spending more and more on cybersecurity. The WSJ, citing Forrester Research Inc. analyst Andrew Rose, noted that security has been one of the few areas in the technology sector that did well even in the challenging environment post the financial crisis that saw several companies slash technology spending.

According to research firm Gartner, worldwide spending on IT security will reach $71.1 billion in 2014, which would represent an increase of 7.9% over 2013. Further, the research firm expects spending on IT security to reach $76.9 billion by 2015.

Given this outlook for IT security spending, it is worth taking a look at some of the top companies in the cybersecurity/anti-hacking space.

Symantec Corporation (SYMC)

Mountain View, California-based Symantec is a provider of security, backup and availability solutions. The company was founded in April 1982. It currently operates the largest civilian cyberintelligence threat network in the world and employs more than 20,000 people in over 50 countries.

Earlier this month, Symantec reported its financial results for the first quarter ended July 4, 2014. The company’s GAAP revenue for the quarter rose 2% on a year-over-year basis to $1.735 billion. Michael A. Brown, Interim President and CEO of Symantec, noted that the company is making steady progress against the five priorities outlined in the previous quarter. The priorities include improving margins and efficiencies, boosting shareholder returns and focusing investment for growth in the enterprise business.

Trend Micro Incorporated ($TMICY)

Tokyo-based Trend Micro provides security software. The company serves consumers, businesses and governments, and offers layered content security to protect information on mobile devices, endpoints, gateways, servers and the cloud.

Trend Micro recently reported its financial results for the second quarter of 2014. The company posted consolidated net sales of $272 million. Its operating income for the quarter was $69 million. Net income for the quarter came in at $46 million.

Eva Chen, CEO of Trend Micro, noted that the company’s industry leadership in commercial solutions was reinforced in the second quarter with a top score for breach detection from NSS Labs, as well as the highest overall score for corporate endpoint solutions from AV-Test.

Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC)

Computer Sciences does not primarily focus on cybersecurity. The company’s offerings include IT and business process outsourcing services, cloud computing services, and a variety of other IT and professional services. However, cybersecurity is an emerging service for the Falls Church, Virginia-based company.

In the first quarter of fiscal year 2015, Computer Sciences reported revenue of $3.24 billion, down 1% on a year-over-year basis. The company’s income from continuing operations stood at $159 million, compared to $161 million reported for the same period in the previous year.

Mike Lawrie, President and CEO of Computer Sciences, said that the first-quarter results were consistent with the company’s expectations for the start to fiscal 2015. Lawrie added that the company is particularly pleased with the growth it is experiencing in the cloud, cyber and big data businesses.

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