Billion Dollar Unicorns: Qualys Acquires Adya

According to a Research and Markets report, the global security and vulnerability management market is expected to grow 9.3% over the next few years to $13.7 billion by 2026. Earlier this week, cloud-based security player Qualys (Nasdaq: QLYS) reported its upbeat fourth-quarter results. Qualys also recently announced the acquisition of a 1Mby1M company, Adya.

Qualys’s Financials

Qualys saw its fourth-quarter revenues grow 18% over the year to $74.2 million, in line with the market’s estimates. Earnings of $14.4 million for the quarter were significantly better than the previous year’s $2.9 million. Adjusted earnings of $0.51 were significantly ahead of the market’s expected $0.40 for the quarter.

Qualys ended the year with revenues growing 21% to $278.9 million. It reported earnings of $57.3 million, or $1.37 a share.

For the current quarter, Qualys is expecting revenues of $74.5-$75.2 million and adjusted earnings of $0.41-$0.43 a share. The market was looking for revenues of $77 million with an EPS of $0.42. Qualys expects to end the current fiscal with revenues of $320-$323 million and an EPS of $1.84-$1.89. The Street had forecast revenues of $330.17 million with an EPS of $1.85 for the year.

Despite the upbeat performance, analysts are worried about Qualys’s outlook as topline growth appears to be slowing down. Even at the higher end of its outlook, Qualys is looking for a 15% growth next year, compared with the 21% growth it delivered in the previous year. Qualys has been adding products and expects to release several new ones this year as well such as Patch Management and Secure Access Control. But these products are not growing fast enough to counter the slowing growth of its core vulnerability management offering. Analysts expect Qualys to invest more in its sales and marketing efforts to drive additional business.

Qualys’s Acquisition

Meanwhile, Qualys has been steadily building its portfolio with acquisitions. Recently, it announced the acquisition of the software assets of Adya, Inc. Adya is a SaaS data security platform that helps enterprises manage and secure their SaaS apps. It enables Google’s G Suite admins to get visibility into what data has been exposed, what third-party apps have been installed along with their degree of risk, which external users have access to internal data, and which internal users have been exposing data. Besides identifying security risks, Adya’s tools help manage these threats as well.

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