Adding CrowdStrike shares to a portfolio can provide much-needed protection in this uncertain environment, Morgan Stanley said Monday. Analyst Hamza Fodderwala upgraded the cybersecurity stock to overweight from equal weight, noting that demand for the company’s services remains solid despite the worsening macroeconomic outlook. The analyst also hiked his price target on the stock to $215 per share from $195, implying upside of 32.6% from Friday’s close. “As a next-gen SaaS security platform, CrowdStrike is the leading beneficiary of growing secular trends within security,” Fodderwala wrote in a note to clients. “Security remains a top priority due to rising cyber threats and is by far the most defensive area of spend within IT budgets. … CrowdStrike’s core Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) platform is particularly mission critical, at the forefront of helping to defend against breaches.” “Coming into the year, we were less positive on the name based on growing competitive risk, uncertainty regarding pace of topline deceleration and high expectations embedded in CRWD valuation at the time,” he added. “Since then, our channel work suggests limited signs of slowdown in CrowdStrike’s share gain momentum and growing evidence of [total addressable market] expansion beyond their core endpoint security market.” Shares of CrowdStrike have tumbled 20.8% this year as growth companies have fallen out of favor due to rising interest rates. The stock is also more than 45% below a record high reached in November. However, that decline has created an attractive entry point for investors, Fodderwala said. Morgan Stanley is not the only firm that’s bullish on CrowdStrike. Late in May, Stephens initiated coverage of the company with an overweight rating, citing CrowdStrike’s strong free cash flow .
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