CrowdStrike Climbs as Goldman Bullish on Growth Prospects

CrowdStrike shares were upgraded to buy and their price target raised to $174 at Goldman Sachs.
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CrowdStrike  (CRWD) - Get Report shares rose on Monday after the network-security provider was upgraded to buy from neutral by analysts at Goldman Sachs.

Analyst Brian Essex also raised his price target on the Sunnyvale, Calif., company to $174 from $122 in his first note covering the company. 

At last check CrowdStrike shares rose 4.5% to $146.18.

Revenue is growing at nearly twice the rate of its "hypergrowth security software peers," according to Essex, who expects the company to "efficiently expand into attractive adjacent markets."

CrowdStrike has doubled its market penetration within an already robust market and it remains the fastest growing company. 

CrowdStrike also has the advantage of embedded operating leverage and widening gross margins, the analyst said.

"We believe the company can continue to leverage access to valuable Endpoint real estate, along with unique telemetry into enterprise networks, to expand into attractive adjacent markets that legacy vendors could never effectively target before," Essex said. 

As the company expands into new markets, Crowdstrike could add new modules to its platform, which will drive wider profit margins and better unit economics. 

CrowdStrike was already hot before the pandemic hit this year, but the coronavirus lockdown has provided additional tailwinds as work from home became the norm. 

This created a wider surface for bad actors to attack, necessitating increased awareness about cybersecurity. And the pandemic had the effect of exposing fragility in legacy technology, increasing the need for greater digital transformation, and CrowdStrike is expected to benefit, the analyst said.