Cloud Stocks: Qualys Focuses On SMB Segment For Growth

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According to a recent report, the global cloud security market is estimated to grow 14% annually over the next few years to become a $77.5 billion market by 2026. The industry was pegged at $40.8 billion in 2022. Cloud services security provider Qualys (QLYS) recently announced its fourth-quarter results that surpassed market expectations. The company is continuing to invest in product development as it tries to expand its market reach.


Qualys’s Financials

For the fourth quarter of the year, Qualys’s revenues grew 19% over the year to $130.8 million, surpassing the market’s estimates of $130.1. Net income of $28.3 million was higher than the $21.8 million reported a year ago. On an adjusted basis, it reported an EPS of $1.01 compared with the market’s estimates of $0.84.

For the year, Qualys saw revenues grow 19% to $489.7 million. Net income for the year of $146.5 million, or $3.72 per share was higher than previous year’s $129.3 million, or $3.22 per share.

For the current quarter, Qualys forecast revenues of $130.2-$131 million, with adjusted earnings of $0.95-$0.97 a share. The market was looking for revenues of $132.79 million with an EPS of $0.94 for the quarter. Qualys expects to end the year with revenues of $553-$557 million. It forecast the year’s EPS at $4.10-$4.18. The market was looking for revenues of $565.07 million with an EPS of $3.99 for the year.


Qualys’s Product Expansion

Recently, Qualys announced several product upgrades focused on addressing the security requirements of small and medium businesses. It released a major upgrade to Vulnerability Management Detection and Response (VMDR) with the addition of TruRisk, providing security, cloud operations, and IT teams with new insights into their risk posture. The upgrade will allow the teams access to drag-and-drop orchestration to prioritize and quickly respond to the most critical of threats. It also upgraded CyberSecurity Asset Management with External Attack Surface Management, allowing for the continuous discovery of unknown internet-facing assets and an automatic assessment of an organization’s risk posture. It unveiled the Context Extended Detection and Response application to natively integrate and correlate asset and risk-based context vulnerability management, patching, Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) and File Integrity Monitoring and external telemetry to provide and prioritize high-fidelity threat detection and response.

Last year, Qualys had announced the acquisition of Blue Hexagon. It is leveraging the acquisition and has added a new Cloud Detection and Response module to its TotalCloud solution. As organizations increasingly prioritize moving workloads to hybrid and multi-cloud environments, it is using the new ML/AI-based technology for zero-day threat hunting. It did not talk about more acquisitions, but has maintained that it will continue to seek out other acquisitions that could enhance its platform, accelerate its time to market and further expand its market opportunity.

Qualys’s stock is currently trading at $127.16 with a market capitalization of $4.73 billion. It touched a year high of $162.36 in September last year. The stock has recovered from the year low of $101.10 it had fallen to in January last year.

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Disclosure: All investors should make their own assessments based on their own research, informed interpretations, and risk appetite. This article expresses my own opinions based on my own research ...

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