stock is trading higher Tuesday after Stifel analyst Brad Reback lifted his rating on the cloud-based security-software company to Buy from Hold, with a new target price of $300, up from $240.
Reback writes in a research note that he’s turned bullish on the stock for three reasons. CrowdStrike (ticker: CRWD) stock is up 6.2% to $252.52. Shares are up about 20% year to date.
For starters, he was encouraged by the findings in a recent proprietary survey of CrowdStrike customers. “The feedback speaks to the growing customer demand for not only consolidating security functionalities with CrowdStrike over time but also extending their CrowdStrike deployments” into new markets, he writes in a research note.
Reback also sees “significant runway remaining” to gain new customers. He thinks the company over time can boost its customer count to more than 100,000, or nearly 10 times the 11,420 customers reported in the company’s January quarter.
Finally, he thinks expanded use of CrowdStrike’s Falcon endpoint protection program should allow the company to reach the higher end of its non-GAAP subscription gross-margin target range of 77% to 82% “more quickly than investors currently expect.”
Reback says he sees the company as a “rapidly emerging disruptor” in the “workload protection” portion of the security-software market, which he thinks will continue to disrupt incumbent providers, while pushing into adjacent market sectors.
Earlier this month, CrowdStrike posted a surprise profit for its fiscal first quarter ended April 30. For the quarter, CrowdStrike posted revenue of $178.1 million, up 85% from a year ago, and well ahead of the Wall Street analyst consensus estimate of $165.4 million. The company reported a non-GAAP profit of 2 cents a share; the Street had expected a loss of 6 cents a share.
For the July quarter, the company sees revenue of $185.8 million to $190.3 million, with non-GAAP earnings per share ranging from break-even to a loss of 2 cents.
Write to Eric J. Savitz at [email protected]