Cloudflare (NYSE:NET) shares were on a roll until being caught up in the tech stock selloff that began in February. NET stock closed at an all-time high of $93.46 on Feb. 9, rewarding investors with growth of around 425% over the previous 12 months. Then it began to slump, dropping as low as $61.77 to start the week. NET has been in recovery mode for two sessions now, but still remains well below that February high. This offers the opportunity to scoop up NET shares at a discount.
I am convinced that Cloudflare is a great pick as a tech company to invest in. It has been a little pricey, but the current dip is helping to address that and Cloudflare shares offer excellent prospects for long-term growth.
The company is well-positioned in a market that is only growing. It’s piling on new customers, and rapidly growing its revenue. The future is so bright that NET stock is featured in my list of “7 Safe Stocks to Buy For Your Retirement.” Here’s why this Portfolio-Grader ‘A’-rated stock gets such a strong recommendation.
Shopping, Working or Just Browsing, Everyone Hates a Slow Website
The coronavirus pandemic accelerated a number of internet-based trends. Online shopping was more popular than ever as people avoided stores. Many companies sent employees home to work. Schools began to offer remote learning options for students. When people weren’t online shopping, participating in video conferences or accessing work files remotely, they were scrolling through websites looking for news and entertainment.
All of those activities become extremely annoying if websites are sluggish and slow to respond.
That’s where Cloudflare comes in. As a CDN (Content Delivery Network), Cloudflare operates a network of distributed servers that host popular websites. The company has data centers in over 200 cities across the globe. That wide distribution means a Cloudflare server is geographically closer to people accessing a website. That in turn means the hosted websites are more responsive. This need for speedy web responsiveness is never going to go away. If anything, the pressure is on more companies to use CDNs to improve their user experience.
Companies pay Cloudflare for this service, and as of the fourth quarter, that paid customer count was over 111,000. In addition, Cloudflare noted that large companies — who pay much more in fees — were its highest growth segment.
Is there any wonder why NET stock gained 345% in 2020?
Online Security Is More Important Than Ever
Cloudflare also offers cybersecurity services. This includes securing websites and web-based applications against attacks. Cloudflare also protects corporate networks and internal applications from threats, and ensures remote devices are secure.
The company ensures websites stay online and safe for users. And it also provides security services that protects companies offering remote access, and a mix of remote and onsite workers.
With hackers ramping up their efforts and more companies shifting to permanent remote work capability, the demand for Cloudflare’s cybersecurity business also has nowhere to go but up.
Bottom Line on NET Stock
Cloudflare makes a great addition to any portfolio. This is a tech stock that has shown a promising growth trajectory. All signs point to that growth story continuing.
Even after the current month-long tumble, shares are worth 291% more than they were after Cloudflare went public in September 2019. The company is a leader in a market for CDNs and website security that is growing by leaps and bounds — with no end in sight. The 15 investment analysts tracked by the Wall Street Journal have Cloudfare stock rated as a consensus “Buy” with an average $98.27 price target. That’s nearly 40% upside. Even the most pessimistic among the group has a $75.00 price target.
When the analysts who advise against buying a stock still feel it has over 6% upside, that’s a statement.
NET stock has stumbled in 2021, but that’s because it has been caught up in the broader tech sector selloff. With NET now trading at a near 25% discount compared to its February high, smart investors with an eye on the long term will recognize this as a buying opportunity.
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Source: Investor Place