COLUMBIA, Md. (
) -- As a result of the recent
hassling companies like
, investor interest in security specialist
has hit another high.
The security hardware and software maker, which was recently added to
Breakout Stocks portfolio
, is seen as one of the big beneficiaries of an increasingly volatile threat environment.
| The recent spate of cybersecurity scares is fuelling investor interest in Sourcefire.
The company's shares climbed $1.11, or 4.16%, to $27.78 on Tuesday, far outpacing the Nasdaq, which gained 1.76%, and network security rival
(CSCO - Get Report)
, which rose 1.75%.
"We continue to view Sourcefire as an attractive growth play in the security sector, an area that is experiencing increased investor interest," said Todd Weller, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus, in a recent note. "We attribute [this] to the many recent high profile security attacks that have hit various companies."
Weakness in federal government sales, however, weighed on Sourcefire's most recent quarterly results, although Weller believes that the company is getting back on track.
"While Fed government headwinds have dampened the near-term growth outlook, we look for these headwinds to dissipate over the next several quarters," explained Weller, reiterating his Sourcefire buy rating. "We [also] expect the company's commercial business to exhibit continued strength."
"Expectations for Sourcefire's growth are set at reasonable levels," added Bryan Ashenberg, research analyst at
, in a note. "We think the stock will begin to demonstrate strong operating leverage as its federal business revives and it introduces new products in late 2011."
Other tech companies are also aware of Sourcefire's appeal. The Maryland-based firm has already been an
and Israeli company
, with the latter running into intense political opposition.
Sourcefire's Snort intrusion detection technology is widely used in the U.S. intelligence community, prompting Washington lawmakers to cite national security concerns about a possible Sourcefire sale.
Sourcefire nonetheless continues to be touted as
attractive acquisition bait
, particularly at a time when tech giants such as
(HPQ - Get Report)
are opening their wallets for security M&A.
--Written by James Rogers in New York.
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