EFX - Equifax Inc.

NYSE - NYSE Delayed Price. Currency in USD
-2.16 (-1.50%)
At close: 4:00PM EDT
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous Close143.91
Bid0.01 x 1200
Ask142.00 x 1300
Day's Range141.25 - 143.85
52 Week Range88.68 - 145.56
Avg. Volume819,300
Market Cap17.098B
Beta (3Y Monthly)1.43
PE Ratio (TTM)N/A
EPS (TTM)-3.52
Earnings DateOct 22, 2019 - Oct 28, 2019
Forward Dividend & Yield1.56 (1.08%)
Ex-Dividend Date2019-08-22
1y Target Est141.44
Trade prices are not sourced from all markets
  • StockX confirms massive data breach
    Yahoo Finance Video

    StockX confirms massive data breach

    StockX, the e-commerce site known for selling clothes and sneakers confirmed that it experience a massive data breach, in total 6.8 million customers were impacted. Yahoo Finance's Reggie Wade joins YFi AM to discuss.

  • FTC: Choose free credit monitoring, you might not get $125 from Equifax
    Yahoo Finance Video

    FTC: Choose free credit monitoring, you might not get $125 from Equifax

    Remember the $125 you may get from Equifax following its settlement worth up to $700 million? The FTC is now advising people to choose the free credit monitoring instead because too many people wanted cash, meaning the payout will be nowhere near $125. Yahoo Finance's Zack Guzman and Kristin Myers and Harness Wealth's David Snider talking about the 2017 Equifax breach that left 147 million people compromised.

  • FTC says Equifax victims likely won't get $125 settlements
    Yahoo Finance Video

    FTC says Equifax victims likely won't get $125 settlements

    The Federal Trade Commission says the victims of Equifax's 2017 data breach likely won't be getting the $125 originally promised from the settlement. Yahoo Finance's Sibile Marcellus explains why the victims could be expecting much less.

  • 15 Cybersecurity Stocks to Watch as the Industry Heats Up

    15 Cybersecurity Stocks to Watch as the Industry Heats Up

    [Editor's note: This story was previously published in February 2019. It has since been updated and republished.]Another day, another hack, another reason to buy a cybersecurity stock. That has been my motto for the better part of the past few years, as a huge surge in digital data volume globally has been accompanied by an equally large surge in headline cyber attacks. The big one was the Equifax (NYSE:EFX) scandal back in mid-2017, but that incident is far from isolated. Everyone from Under Armour (NYSE:UAA) to Wendy's (NASDAQ:WEN) to Uber (NYSE:UBER) to Capital One and even United States universities have dealt with a cyber attack of some sort over the past several years.Concurrent to the rampant rise in cyber attacks, demand for cybersecurity solutions has burgeoned, and cybersecurity stocks have bounced. The Prime Cyber Security ETF (NYSEARCA:HACK) is up roughly 50% since early 2017, almost double the S&P 500's return of 30%.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 7 S&P 500 Dividend Stocks to Buy at Least Yielding 3% The pace of these attacks will only increase as more valuable data shifts online over the next several years. As such, demand for cybersecurity solutions will continue to grow and cybersecurity stocks will continue to outperform.With that in mind, here's a list of 15 cybersecurity stocks that investors should watch over the next several years. Indeed, I think a few of them could be huge winners. Palo Alto Networks (PANW)Source: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com When it comes to cybersecurity stocks, the cream of the crop is Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW)."Another day, another hack, another reason to buy a cybersecurity stock" could just as easily read "another day, another hack, another reason to buy Palo Alto Networks stock." In other words, Palo Alto Networks is so big and so good at what it does that the company may as well be a substitute for the entire cybersecurity space.This dominance has manifested itself in a long and steady track record of 20%-plus revenue growth and healthy operating margin expansion, the sum of which has powered an almost 150% rally in PANW stock over the past five years.PANW stock has sold off over the past few months. This selloff is an opportunity. The fundamentals remain strong (28% revenue growth last quarter). The outlook remains robust (27% revenue growth projected for this year). Analysts remain confident (consensus price target implies 30% upside). The secular drivers behind the cybersecurity industry remain vigorous.Thus, recent weakness is an opportunity, and nothing more. Fortinet (FTNT)Source: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com While Palo Alto Networks may be the cream of the crop in this industry, Fortinet (NASDAQ:FTNT) isn't too far behind.This is another really big, really strong cybersecurity company that has a strong track record of around 20% revenue growth and strong share price gains. Over the past five years, FTNT is up well over 200%.Revenue growth isn't slowing at all, implying that despite increased competition, Fortinet continues to ride secular tailwinds in cybersecurity to around 20% revenue growth. Thus, so long as cybersecurity tailwinds remain strong, FTNT stock should do well. * 10 Stocks to Buy That Could Be Takeover Targets Valuation was rich for a brief moment in time. That moment in time has now passed. With FTNT stock 15% off its recent highs, the forward price-to-earnings multiple has come down to 33, versus an all time high valuation of over 50 back in mid-2018. With the valuation now at much more reasonable levels, near-term upside looks compelling. As such, now looks like a good time to buy. Check Point (CHKP)Source: jejim / Shutterstock.com Another cybersecurity industry titan is Check Point (NASDAQ:CHKP). And, as an industry titan, CHKP stock is a likely winner if cybersecurity tailwinds stay strong.But, CHKP stock has struggled lately. CHKP hasn't gone anywhere in two years. A lot of this weakness in CHKP stock has to do with anemic revenue growth. Revenue growth was just 4% last quarter, an unusually low mark for a cybersecurity giant.Long story short, it looks like competition is weighing on CHKP stock. Thus, go-forward growth prospects -- while strong -- are muddied by competitive threats. Granted, CHKP stock sports a reasonable valuation at just a little less than 17 times forward earnings. But, that low valuation runs next to low growth, so the stock really isn't a bargain.Analysts aren't in love with this stock, and the chart isn't all that great, either. Thus, while CHKP should head higher in the long run thanks to industry tailwinds, the outlook for the stock in the near- to medium-term is much less promising than it is for FTNT or PANW. FireEye (FEYE)Source: Michael Vi / Shutterstock.com I'd lump cybersecurity company FireEye (NASDAQ:FEYE) more into the Check Point pile than the Palo Alto Networks and Fortinet pile.This is a solid company with healthy industry drivers, but revenue growth isn't robust. In 2019, that's caught up with the stock, which has fallen just over 15% this year. The company is also barely profitable, and that hasn't helped investor sentiment amid sluggish revenue growth.As such, FEYE stock doesn't look like a huge winner in the big picture. * 6 Big Dividend Stocks to Buy as Yields Plunge That being said, there is an argument to buy FEYE stock in the near to medium term. Ever since the start of 2016, FEYE stock has been highly cyclical. In that cycle, the stock usually bottoms when the trailing sales multiple hits three. Right now, we are just above 3. Thus, further weakness in the stock should be expected, but could eventually turn into a medium-term buying opportunity. Proofpoint (PFPT)Source: II.studio / Shutterstock.com Proofpoint (NASDAQ:PFPT) is the nascent, hyper-growth player in the cybersecurity space -- and one of the more exciting cybersecurity stocks.The company isn't all that big (under $7 billion market cap). But, what this company lacks in size, it makes up for in growth, with a 25% year-over-year revenue growth rate reported last quarter, and 20%-plus revenue growth expected in each of the next two years.Because of this massive growth in a rapidly expanding industry, PFPT stock has done quite well. The stock is up about 200% over the past five years.Analysts think this stock heads higher. So do I. Growth rates are huge, the valuation is reasonable and the chart looks good. Okta (OKTA)Source: Michael Vi / Shutterstock.com Hyper-growth cybersecurity company Okta (NASDAQ:OKTA) has been a Wall Street favorite for the past few quarters, and projects to remain one for the next few years, too.Okta has developed what the company calls the Identity Cloud. The Identity Cloud is basically just taking cybersecurity and building it for the individual, as opposed to for an ecosystem or service. The analogy I like to use is that if most cybersecurity solutions are a castle surrounding a company's data, then Okta's Identity Cloud is armor protecting each individual's data.The idea is that if everyone has armor, everyone's data is safe, and you don't need a castle -- which is ideal, because cybersecurity castles can be restricting and inconvenient. A lot of companies are buying into this idea. Okta has reported 50%-plus revenue growth in each of the past several quarters, alongside 30%-plus customer growth. All this growth is high-quality growth, too, since gross margins at the company run north of 70%. * 7 Bank Stocks to Leave in the Vault All in all, Okta has all the right ingredients for huge profit growth over the next few years. Sure, a lot of that profit growth is priced in today, and the stock is extremely expensive. But, in the low rate environment in which we find ourselves today, valuation takes a backseat to growth. So, for the foreseeable future, OKTA stock should run higher. CyberArk (CYBR)Source: photobyphm / Shutterstock.com Much like Proofpoint, CyberArk (NASDAQ:CYBR) is a cybersecurity company characterized by small scale but big growth.CyberArk is even smaller than Proofpoint (just a $4.4 billion market cap). But, growth is really big. Last quarter, revenues rose 29% year-over-year, and deferred revenue rose by more than 30%. Revenue growth is expected to be in the 20% range for the next several years, too.Also much like PFPT, CYBR stock has been a big winner due to its big growth. Over the past year, CYBR stock is almost 70%.Analysts think this run will continue, albeit at a slower rate. That seems reasonable to me. This stock is slightly more expensive than PFPT, but growing at a slower rate, so if you are searching for growth in the cybersecurity space, I'd pick PFPT over CYBR. Nonetheless, secular cybersecurity tailwinds and big growth potential will push CYBR stock higher, too. Cisco (CSCO)Source: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com One of the bigger companies on this list, Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO), is much more than just a cybersecurity company. But, a big part of this company's turnaround narrative is centered on cybersecurity.That part of the Cisco narrative is doing well, and is powering improved financial results. But, it's reasonable to believe that the cybersecurity-led turnaround will slow going forward, as the laps get tougher and as the revenue growth trajectory flattens out again. * 7 Stocks to Buy for Monster Growth That being said, CSCO stock is pretty cheap at just 13.3 times forward earnings, and the chart looks pretty good (outside of the recent trade war inspired collapse).Big picture, CSCO stock is low risk, low reward. It is a low-risk, low-volatility investment with a cheap valuation. But, it also lacks big-time growth drivers to unlock huge share price appreciation in the long term. Carbonite (CARB)Source: Pavel Kapysh / Shutterstock.com Although it is one of the smaller names on this list, Carbonite (NASDAQ:CARB) has one of the better growth narratives in all of cybersecurity.This is a company that is positioning itself as a data protection company. Considering the volume of digital data is exploding higher right now on a global scale, data protection is the right niche to dominate over the next several years.Carbonite's numbers haven't been great as of late. The company has reported continued robust revenue growth. But, those same big growth numbers have fallen shy of the big growth estimates put forth by Wall Street. As such, CARB stock has struggled this year, and is down 69% over the past 52 weeks.The valuation isn't all that bad at six times forward earnings. But, the stock has a ton of downward momentum right now. I'd wait for this momentum to ease up before buying into this falling knife. Qualys (QLYS)Source: Shutterstock The next cybersecurity stock to watch over the next several years is Qualys (NASDAQ:QLYS).The value proposition of Qualys is getting enterprise customers to sign onto their platform, consolidate their security and compliance stacks and cut IT spending. That is a pretty promising value prop, and a lot of customers are buying into it.Last quarter, revenues at Qualys rose more than 15% year-over-year. Gross margins aren't soaring higher, but operating margins are moving higher as big revenue growth is driving operating expense leverage. * 7 Safe Stocks to Buy for Anxious Investors From a valuation perspective, this hyper-growth cybersecurity stock looks fully valued at over 11 times trailing sales. That is about as big as it gets in this industry. But, Qualys isn't the biggest grower in the space. Thus, going forward, valuation will likely weigh on share price performance. Symantec (SYMC)Source: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com Of all the stocks on this list, Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) is the one that has been struggling the most in the long term.SYMC stock essentially hasn't gone anywhere in five years, mostly thanks to slowing revenue growth, which turned negative in fiscal 2019. Considering competition in this space is only intensifying, it is discouraging to see revenue growth dip into negative territory.That being said, SYMC stock is about as cheap as it gets in this sector. The stock trades at 3.4 times trailing sales and just under 13 times forward earnings. Those are pretty cheap multiples for exposure to cyber defense. Revenue growth has also bounced back into positive territory in fiscal 2020, and is expected to remain in positive territory for the next few years.If the growth trajectory for this company continues to improve, SYMC stock could soar higher. Right now, it looks like that will indeed happen. As such, SYMC stock could run higher over the next few quarters as growth comes back into the picture. Akamai (AKAM)Source: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com One cybersecurity stock with a very attractive and multi-faceted growth narrative is Akamai (NASDAQ:AKAM).The Akamai growth narrative is really quite broad. On one end, the company's fastest-growing segment is its Cloud Security solutions. Revenues in this segment are consistently growing around 25% to 35% year-over-year each quarter, and momentum is strong due to the security portfolio including new products.On the other end, Akamai provides solutions that enable the shift from linear content to internet content. This shift is only gaining momentum, and as such, Akamai's growth narrative and numbers are only getting better. * 7 High-Yield REITs to Buy (Even When the Market Tanks) Valuation is a concern for this stock. But, the fundamentals are pretty good. Thus, while I don't think AKAM stock has another 20%-plus upside in its tank over the next 12 months, I do see this stock heading higher in a multi-year window. Splunk (SPLK)Source: Michael Vi / Shutterstock.com Another high-growth name in this space is Splunk (NASDAQ:SPLK).Splunk essentially operates in the world of turning data into actionable insights. This is a good place to be. It puts Splunk at the heart of a $55 billion addressable market, and that market has a ton of tailwinds. Revenues currently sit around $2 billion on a trailing 12 month basis, so there is clearly a long runway for big growth. Indeed, in the long run, SPLK stock should run significantly higher.But, valuation is a concern. Specifically, it appears that investors quickly recognized Splunk as a long-term winner, and all rushed into SPLK stock. That caused the valuation to sprint ahead of the fundamentals. As such, over the past year, SPLK stock hasn't really gone anywhere -- despite continued huge revenue growth -- because the fundamentals are trying to catch up with the valuation.Eventually, they will. When they do, SPLK stock will be ready to take a another meaningful leg higher, and another one after that, too. Long term, this stock is going higher. F5 Networks (FFIV)Source: Michael Vi / Shutterstock.com F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV) has fallen upon hard times. But, that could change soon. Over the past year, the stock is down over 30%, while most of its peers are up over the past 52 weeks.Why the big drop? A few bad quarters with revenue misses and light guides, the sum of which have implied to investors that the growth story here is slowing.Having said that, the valuation on FFIV stock is now very attractive. FFIV projects as a sub-10% earnings growth company over the next several years. At one point in time, this was a 20 times forward earnings multiple stock. That's too big for sub-10% profit growth. Today, though, the forward earnings multiple is down around 12. That's much more in-line with sub-10% profit growth. * 7 Strong Buy Stocks With Over 20% Upside Perhaps that is why the consensus price target on FFIV stock is 20% above the current price tag. I think the analysts are right on this one. Near-term valuation-driven upside in FFIV stock is compelling. Zscaler (ZS)Source: Michael Vi / Shutterstock.com Freshly public and relatively small, Zscaler (NASDAQ:ZS) is one of the most exciting and risky cybersecurity stocks on this list.Zscaler went public at $16 per share in March 2018. The IPO was a huge success. ZS stock doubled in its first day of trading, closing at $33. The momentum hasn't really stopped. Today, ZS stock is in the $70 range.The hype makes sense. Zscaler is a cloud security company that is growing very, very quickly with very high gross margins and a ton of visibility to produce huge profits at scale. The company is disrupting a huge, nearly $20 billion cloud and mobility market, and revenues over the past 12 months amount to less than $300 million.Thus, the long-term growth narrative supporting ZS stock is quite promising. But, this is a $9 billion company that is expected to do around $400 million in sales next year, so the stock is trading at a rather huge 22.5X forward one year sales multiple. That isn't a risk-free investment. As such, ZS is the high-risk, high-reward name in this cybersecurity bunch.As of this writing, Luke Lango was long HACK, PANW, FTNT, OKTA, PFPT and SPLK. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Hot Stocks Leading the Market's Blitz Higher * 7 Strong Buy Stocks With Over 20% Upside * 5 Growthy Stocks Trading Below 15X Earnings The post 15 Cybersecurity Stocks to Watch as the Industry Heats Up appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Why Is Equifax (EFX) Up 4.6% Since Last Earnings Report?

    Why Is Equifax (EFX) Up 4.6% Since Last Earnings Report?

    Equifax (EFX) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues.

  • Benzinga

    The Pros And Cons Of Freezing Your Credit

    After big data breaches like Equifax (NYSE: EFX), you might have heard the term “credit freeze” thrown around. A credit freeze allows you to take control of your financial credit report by stopping potential lenders from seeing it. Without that information, lenders will usually not allow you or anyone claiming to be you to open a line of credit.

  • FLT or EFX: Which Financial Services Firm is Better Placed?

    FLT or EFX: Which Financial Services Firm is Better Placed?

    Although a faster share price rally on a year-to-date basis leads to a rich valuation for both stocks compared with the benchmark index, Equifax (EFX) is cheaper than FLEETCOR (FLT).

  • Atlanta-based franchise group reveals data breach at Moe's Southwest Grill, two other brands
    American City Business Journals

    Atlanta-based franchise group reveals data breach at Moe's Southwest Grill, two other brands

    Focus Brands said it detected a data breach at an unspecified number of locations of Moe's Southwest Grill, McAlister's Deli and Schlotzsky's.

  • Dividend Investors: Don't Be Too Quick To Buy Equifax Inc. (NYSE:EFX) For Its Upcoming Dividend
    Simply Wall St.

    Dividend Investors: Don't Be Too Quick To Buy Equifax Inc. (NYSE:EFX) For Its Upcoming Dividend

    Equifax Inc. (NYSE:EFX) stock is about to trade ex-dividend in 4 days time. You can purchase shares before the 22nd of...

  • Think Amazon Will Save Rite Aid Stock? Think Again.

    Think Amazon Will Save Rite Aid Stock? Think Again.

    If you're thinking of shopping for Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD) stock on its much-hyped, package pick-up collaboration with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), be prepared to buy some Tylenol or Pepto Bismol for home delivery at the same time. Let me explain.Source: Shutterstock Chipotle (NYSE:CMG), Equifax (NYSE:EFX) or Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) -- each brand has bounced back in recent years from high profile wrongdoings. The thing is, scandals can be sorted out and time helps in healing those past wounds. Too bad, that's not the problem with RAD stock.Rite Aid's problem is the same one many once-great brick-and-mortar shops are going through or have bowed to already. More and more buying is transacted online with those goods being dropped straight to your doorstep. And chances are, Amazon has been a key player in this bearish market dynamic, even for a storefront like RAD stock.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsSure, Amazon has backed away from entering the prescription business. But Amazon already sells a line of over-the-counter private-label medicines. Its Basic Care line offers a range of products from ibuprofen to allergy medicine. Amazon is also pursuing the medical community to purchase common and disposable items from rubber gloves, syringes to gauze from its Amazon Business site. And that's certainly at the expense of RAD stock.RAD stock has another big problem too. Rite Aid isn't a store known to attract foot traffic from the all-important millennial demographic. Sorry … Rite Aid just isn't "cool." And sadly, even the population Rite Aid has captured is getting older and less likely to be hopping in the car or walking to Rite Aid to pick up stockings, Certs and a prescription. * 10 Real Estate Investments to Ride Out the Current Storm But before I pronounce RAD stock as being D.O.A., could Amazon be both a villain and savior for RAD stock? There are investors who believe the new Amazon Counter pick-up option for Amazon purchases at Rite Aid stores could be a prescription for success.The bull case rests on the hypothesis that influential millennials flush with cash, who otherwise wouldn't be caught stepping foot in a Rite Aid store, will now be waiting in line by the dozens and invariably be making additional impulse purchases from Rite Aid before exiting. RAD Stock Monthly ChartOn the surface, the deal sounds kind of interesting. But don't hold your breath on RAD stock. Most Amazon packages aren't going to be dropped off at Rite Aid. And for those few packages that aren't received at one's doorstep, office or neighbor's house, consumers have a choice of where they want to pick the delivery up from. And guess what? That's probably bad news for Rite Aid's service.The fact is for those few boxes, packages and envelopes which don't go to the doorstep, there's already options for picking up merchandise. Consumers have a choice of Amazon Lockers at various convenience stores and even standalone Amazon storefronts to pick up items from. Further, with the partnership just underway and starting with 100 Rite Aid stores but promising 1,500 by year end, it's still going to be a tough proposition to get Millennials, let alone anyone else that normally wouldn't be in a Rite Aid already, into a Rite Aid store and make an actual difference in RAD stock's bottom line. * 7 Stocks the Insiders Are Buying on Sale Think about this as well, what's to stop Amazon from opening up its Counter distribution network into other retailers and hindering Rite Aid's chances even more? And finally, let's be real … given today's existing and more discreet options where communication is minimized and hassle free from checkout lines, the choices for millennials to pick up packages were already in place before Rite Aid's Amazon Counter.So, before you consider investing in Rite Aid stock, take a look at the stock chart and note that while the ginormous bottoming pattern certainly holds the allure of something special, you need to be smart. Think long and hard about today's message, the obvious, existing problems the company faces and RAD's nearly 30% in short interest as fair warning.Disclosure: Investment accounts under Christopher Tyler's management do not currently own positions in any securities mentioned in this article. The information offered is based upon Christopher Tyler's observations and strictly intended for educational purposes only; the use of which is the responsibility of the individual. For additional options-based strategies, related musings or to ask a question, you can find and follow Chris on Twitter @Options_CAT and StockTwits. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Real Estate Investments to Ride Out the Current Storm * 7 Marijuana Penny Stocks to Consider for Those Who Can Handle Risk * 7 Safe Dividend Stocks for Investors to Buy Right Now The post Think Amazon Will Save Rite Aid Stock? Think Again. appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • PR Newswire

    Equifax Data-Driven Marketing Digital Customer Insights Now Available Through the Eyeota Audience Marketplace

    Relevant, estimated data on household economics helps marketers to target the best online audiences at scale ATLANTA , Aug. 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Equifax Data-driven Marketing, the marketing data, analytics ...

  • Moody's

    Equifax Inc. -- Moody's announces completion of a periodic review of ratings of Equifax Inc.

    Announcement of Periodic Review: Moody's announces completion of a periodic review of ratings of Equifax Inc. New York, August 12, 2019 -- Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") has completed a periodic review of the ratings of Equifax Inc. and other ratings that are associated with the same analytical unit. The review was conducted through a portfolio review in which Moody's reassessed the appropriateness of the ratings in the context of the relevant principal methodology(ies), recent developments, and a comparison of the financial and operating profile to similarly rated peers.

  • Motley Fool

    Is the Capital One Data Breach a Game-Changer for Investors?

    Let’s take a step back and put it into perspective.

  • PR Newswire

    Equifax Board of Directors declares quarterly dividend

    ATLANTA , Aug. 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Equifax Inc. (NYSE: EFX) today announced that the Equifax Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.39 per share, payable on September 13, 2019 , to ...

  • Morningstar

    6 Ways to Protect Yourself From a Data Breach

    The recent data breach at Capital One  didn't follow the plotline of a usual cybercrime. The data breach wasn't small--it affected 100 million customers. Very sensitive personal financial information was stolen from these customers, including Social Security numbers, linked bank account information, credit scores, credit limits, balances, payment history, and transaction history.

  • Cybersecurity Pros Name Their Price as Hacker Attacks Swell

    Cybersecurity Pros Name Their Price as Hacker Attacks Swell

    (Bloomberg) -- It took a $650,000 salary for Matt Comyns to entice a seasoned cybersecurity expert to join one of America’s largest companies as chief information security officer in 2012. At the time, it was among the most lucrative offers out there.This year, the company had to pay $2.5 million to fill the same role.“It’s a full-on war for cyber talent,” said Comyns, a managing partner at executive search firm Caldwell Partners who specializes in information security. “CEOs know that, so they play hardball. Everyone’s throwing money at this.”The threat of digital breaches -- and the fines, lawsuits and occasional executive resignations that sometimes follow -- has left companies scrambling to scoop up scarce security experts. The growing compensation packages and broadened responsibilities are a dramatic shift for a group of workers who once confined to obscure IT departments, little more than an afterthought to senior management.Unfilled JobsIn the 12 months ended August 2018, there were more than 300,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs in the U.S., according to CyberSeek, a project supported by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education. Globally, the shortage is estimated to exceed 1 million in coming years, studies have shown.That’s coincided with increased frequency and sophistication of digital attacks, which range from disruption of computer systems to extortion and theft of sensitive personal information.In April, JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon told shareholders that cybersecurity “may very well be the biggest threat to the U.S. financial system.” His counterpart at Bank of America Corp., Brian Moynihan, said previously that the lender’s cybersecurity unit operates with an unlimited budget.Just last week, Capital One Financial Corp. disclosed that personal data of about 100 million customers had been illegally accessed by a Seattle woman, possibly one of the largest breaches affecting a U.S. bank. The firm’s shares have fallen 8.9% since the intrusion was revealed.Equifax SettlementIn late July, credit reporting firm Equifax Inc. agreed to pay up to $700 million to settle federal and state investigations into a 2017 hack that compromised sensitive information of more than 140 million people and led to the resignation of the firm’s long-time CEO Rick Smith.High-profile breaches aside, myriad U.S. companies and employees are the subject of hacker attacks each day. Industry insiders joke that there are two types of companies: Those that have been hacked, and those that haven’t yet discovered that they’ve been hacked.“If you’re not careful, you can get numb to it,” said Andrew Howard, who leads the enterprise security division of Kudelski Group.Equifax paid Jamil Farshchi $3.89 million in 2018 to take the job as chief information security officer. He joined from Home Depot, which had hired him in the wake of a 2014 breach that exposed credit-card information belonging to 56 million customers.Directly InvolvedWhile most U.S. firms don’t disclose compensation for top information-security executives, Comyns said big tech firms on the West Coast can pay as much as $6.5 million, most of it in stock. In some cases, direct reports can make around $1 million -- more than their bosses typically would have made just a few years ago.Aware of the challenges of replacing a security chief, many companies take unprecedented measures to keep them, with CEOs often getting involved in the negotiations. In one recent instance, Comyns said, a CISO who considered leaving was told to go home and write down 10 things that would change his decision. The list included a 50% increase in salary and bonus, more than doubling his long-term incentive award, a promotion and a new office. The CEO concurred, and the person stayed.Hefty raises can pale in comparison with the potential downside. The average cost of a breach for U.S. companies was about $8 million, according to a study from IBM Corp. and the Ponemon Institute. Equifax shows that the cost can be many multiples of that. This week, Marriott International Inc. reported they took a $126 million charge related to a 2018 breach of one of its reservations databases.Bigger PaychecksInsurance can cover financial expenses, but won’t help restore lost customer trust and a tarnished reputation, said James Lam, a director at E*Trade Financial Corp. who also advises companies on risk management, including cybersecurity.CEOs may be inclined to spend more because their own jobs and reputations could be on the line. Gregg Steinhafel resigned as CEO of Target Corp. in 2014 after a hacker attack that compromised 40 million credit card accounts rocked the already-struggling retailer.That episode “got everyone’s attention,” said Kudelski Group’s Howard, and led to scores of companies appointing people with cybersecurity expertise to their boards.It’s also pushed many companies to expand the responsibilities of information security staff, ensuring that their work spans the entire organization. To Comyns, that means their pay will continue to increase.“CEOs don’t know what it’s worth until it’s walking out the door,” Comyns said. “Then they stand in the door and say, ‘You’re not going anywhere.’”(Updates with Marriott breach in 15th paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Anders Melin in New York at amelin3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Pierre Paulden at ppaulden@bloomberg.net, Steven CrabillFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • 4 Cybersecurity Stocks to Buy for Long-Term Gains

    4 Cybersecurity Stocks to Buy for Long-Term Gains

    Another day, another hack … another reason to buy cybersecurity stocks.Source: Shutterstock I've been saying that for a few years now, and over the past three years, cybersecurity stocks have indeed roared higher. The First Trust Cybersecurity ETF (NASDAQ:CIBR) is up over 65% over the past three years. The S&P 500 is up just 38% over that same stretch.Why the huge out-performance in cybersecurity stocks? Because -- drawing back to the opening statement -- data hacks have simply kept happening … all the time … everywhere.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsIn 2016, personal and financial information on hundreds of millions of accounts were compromised thanks to data breaches at Adult Friend Finder, Yahoo and Uber (NYSE:UBER). In 2017, it was Equifax (NYSE:EFX) and Verizon (NASDAQ:VZ) that were hit hard by data breaches which similarly exposed information on hundreds of millions of accounts. Marriott (NASDAQ:MAR), Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), Under Armour (NYSE:UAA) and Chegg (NASDAQ:CHGG) were big hack victims in 2018. In 2019, the headline hack so far has been the Capital One (NYSE:COF) data breach, which exposed info on more than 100 million Capital One customers.As these hacks have kept happening, enterprises have increasingly doubled down on cybersecurity solutions, spending an arm and a leg on cybersecurity to make sure they protect customer info and data, which, for what it's worth, is an increasingly valuable asset in today's data economy.As such, the saying still rings true today. Another day, another hack, another reason to buy cybersecurity stocks. So long as this saying remains true, cybersecurity companies will stay in rally mode. * 10 Stocks to Buy on the Trade War Dip With that in mind, let's take a look at four cybersecurity stocks to buy to play this secular growth trend. Palo Alto Networks (PANW)Source: Shutterstock At the top of this list of cybersecurity stocks to buy, we have global cybersecurity leader, Palo Alto Networks (NASDAQ:PANW).The saying "another day, another hack, another reason to buy cybersecurity stocks" could easily be substituted for the saying "another day, another hack, another reason to buy PANW stock".Palo Alto Networks is that big, that dominant, and that good.This company has been the leader of the cybersecurity industry for a long time. It has a long track record of 20%-plus revenue growth, and actually grew revenues at a 40% compounded annual growth rate between 2014 and 2018. It has an equally long and robust track record of customer growth, going from 4,000 customers at the end of 2011, to 54,000 customers by the end of 2018.At the same time, the business model is highly attractive. It's a software business, so gross margins are sky high. Above 75% to be exact. The opex rate has dropped consistently with scale, and operating margins have climbed from 11% in 2014, to above 20% last year. Further, the business generates a lot of cash because capex is so low, with 40%-plus free cash flow margins.Going forward, Palo Alto Network reasonably projects as a 15%-plus revenue grower with favorable margin drivers. That should drive somewhere between 20% and 25% profit growth over the next few years, which puts 2025 earnings-per-share somewhere around $16. Based on a software average multiple of 25-times forward earnings, that implies a long-term price target for PANW stock of $400, substantially higher than today's price tag.All in all, then, PANW stock looks like a solid long-term investment at current levels. Okta (OKTA)Next up, we have hyper-growth cybersecurity company Okta (NASDAQ:OKTA), whose unique approach to the cybersecurity problem has gained tremendous traction over the past few years.Okta has developed what it calls the Identity Cloud, which is essentially just a cloud-based cybersecurity solution that puts individual identity at the core of the solution. In so doing, Okta's solutions enable individuals in enterprises to seamlessly and securely adopt any new software, since the security is based on the individual identity, which doesn't change from app to app.This unique approach to cybersecurity has gained tremendous traction recently. Okta has consequently posted 50%-plus revenue growth rates in each of the past several quarters, alongside 30%-plus customer growth. Much like Palo Alto Networks, Okta also employs a highly attractive software business model which runs at 70%-plus gross margins. Revenue scale has also sparked continued and significant operating leverage.All in all, Okta has all the right ingredients for huge profit growth over the next few years as sustained big revenue growth drives significant operating leverage on top of huge gross margins, creating a visible pathway toward big operating margins on big revenues one day.From this perspective, I think this company could easily be a $5 billion-plus revenue business one day, with operating margins of 30% or higher. That combination could realistically output around $10 in EPS. Based on a 25 forward multiple, that equates to a long-term price target of $250. * 7 Stocks the Insiders Are Buying on Sale To be sure, it will take a while for Okta to get there. But, the long-term upside here is nonetheless compelling. Proofpoint (PFPT)Another cybersecurity name to buy for the long haul is Proofpoint (NASDAQ:PFPT).The narrative at Proofpoint is very healthy. Proofpoint is the leader in email security. Email is the No. 1 channel through which personal hacks happen. Yet, email security spend accounts for a very small piece of the total IT security spend. This disconnect implies secular growth potential in email security spend. Most of that spend will find its way into Proofpoint. As such, Proofpoint projects as a big revenue growth company for as long as cyber and email security tailwinds remain vigorous.The numbers here corroborate the healthy growth narrative. Proofpoint has grown SaaS revenues at a 35% compounded annual growth rate from 2012 to 2019 (projected). At the time of the company's IPO in 2012, Proofpoint had just 2,400 customers, only 2% of whom subscribed to three or more products. Today, the company has 6,100 customers (nearly triple), about half of whom subscribe to three or more products. Thus, Proofpoint has shown an impressive ability to both expand its market and cross-sell its current customers.On top of all this, Proofpoint -- like many of its cybersecurity peers -- operates at sky high 75%-plus gross margins, and has a rapidly retreating opex rate that is falling steadily with increasing scale.These dynamics will persist given secular tailwinds. As such, you're looking at a ~20% revenue growth company over the next several years, with considerable margin drivers. That should produce around 25-30% profit growth, which means EPS could get to around $7 by 2025. Based on a software average 25-times forward multiple, that equates to a 2024 price target of $175, which represents substantial upside from toady's levels. Splunk (SPLK)Source: Web Summit Via FlickrLast, but not least, on this list of cybersecurity stocks to buy is Splunk (NASDAQ:SPLK).Unlike the other companies on this list, Splunk is not inherently a cybersecurity company. Splunk is a data company first. Specifically, Splunk specializes in taking machine data, and turning that data into actionable insights for enterprises. This is a huge and growing business. Data is only becoming more abundant, more important, and more useful. Splunk is enabling companies to glean the most out of all this data, and in so doing, is providing a very necessary and valuable service in today's data economy.The volume of data globally will only continue to grow over the next several years. The usefulness of that data will also only continue to grow. As such, companies will continue to spend big on services like Splunk to produce valuable insights from that data.On the cybersecurity front, Splunk is relatively new to the cybersecurity game. But, the plunge into the market makes sense. Splunk has all this data, which it can easily leverage to produce data-driven cybersecurity solutions. That's exactly what it is doing. And with great success. Splunk continues to add several customers to its security business, with the most recent notable add being Slack (NYSE:WORK).Given its multi-faceted secular growth tailwinds, Splunk has been a 25%-plus revenue growth company for the past several years. Those same tailwinds will remain in play for the foreseeable future. As such, this company reasonably projects as a 20% sales grower over the next few years. Gross margins are high (above 80%), and operating margins will continue to move meaningfully higher as big revenue growth persists. * 10 Cyclical Stocks to Buy (or Sell) Now Net net, Splunk projects as 25-30% profit grower over the next few years. That profit growth trajectory makes $8 in EPS seem doable by 2025. Based on a 25-forward multiple, that implies a 2024 price target of $200.As of this writing, Luke Lango was long UBER, CHGG, PANW, OKTA and SPLK. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Cyclical Stocks to Buy (or Sell) Now * 7 Biotech ETFs That Should Remain Healthy * 7 of the Hottest AI Stocks to Buy Now The post 4 Cybersecurity Stocks to Buy for Long-Term Gains appeared first on InvestorPlace.

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    After two years of litigation and negotiation with federal regulatory agencies, Equifax (NYSE:EFX) has finally announced a resolution to the massive 2017 data breach. A dominant player in the global credit monitoring market, EFX will set aside some $700 million in a restitution fund to reimburse consumers whose personal data was compromised. This settlement follows similar announcements about massive data governance problems hitting the share prices of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Capital One (NYSE:COF).Source: Shutterstock Over half of the record $700 million settlement that will be set aside by EFX will be paid to some 150 million consumers whose personal data was exposed -- as long as they submit the proper documentation. EFX CEO Optimistic"The announcement was a real milestone and pivot for Equifax, which allows us to fully focus on operations driving growth in our EFX 2020 technology and data security transformation", according to Mark W. Begor, Equifax CEO. "The comprehensive resolution we announced is comprised of multiple related settlement agreements with the consumer class action plaintiffs in the Federal Multi District proceedings, the attorney generals of 48 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the New York State Department of Financial Services."InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsClosing recently at $141.40 and just off the 52-week high of $144, many analysts think EFX stock is overvalued and should be sold. In fact, most consensus estimates put the one-year estimated share price at the $141 level, making EFX stock perhaps a target for a short sell. * 10 Generation Z Stocks to Buy Long Yet, contrary to the gloom and doom in the media, the financials for Equifax stock are strong.In the recent earnings call on July 25, EFX reported top-line earnings that declined 10.3% on a year-over-year basis. However, they delivered solid second-quarter 2019 results beating consensus estimates.Adjusted earnings of $1.40 per share beat the consensus guided range of $1.32 to $1.37 level by 4 cents. EFX revenues of $880 million outpaced the consensus estimate by $8.2 million and improved 0.4% YOY. The reported $880 million came in at the higher end of the guided range of $865 million-$880 million.By now, all the bad news about EFX stock is already baked into the price.While the firm remains cautious in its outlook, there are solid indicators that not only is the worst news in the past, but there are clear drivers of growth on the horizon.For the past three quarters, revenues from EFX's United States Information Solutions (USIS), their biggest operating unit, has consistently beat estimates. E-commerce generated revenues for USIS are exceptionally strong. This is not surprising given the Digital-First strategy of EFX management.And Equifax is well ahead of the curve investing across digital transformation initiatives and cloud migration. This infrastructure spend will eventually pay off in terms of aggressively cutting costs, increasing productivity and bolstering cybersecurity. Partnering with Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL), EFX is completing the process of fully migrating critical data exchanges to Google Cloud Services. The Future for EFX Stock Looks SolidCombined with solid growth in the U.S. home mortgage originations -- all requiring credit bureau services -- as well as ongoing investments into fintech and an improving picture in Europe, Equifax's margin performance should see gains through the year. More importantly, EFX is investing heavily on productivity enhancement, e-commerce and cost cutting, in a high growth market with high barriers to entry.By comparison, FB, GOOG and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) have all, in the past, been hit with similar bad news and financial settlements due to data governance problems … and their stock prices all have bounced back nicely.Similarly, with a week of bad headlines well behind it, Equifax stock may present an opportunity to buy on the dips.As of this writing, Theodore Kim did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 8 of the Most Shorted Stocks in the Markets Right Now * 7 Charts That Should Concern Marijuana Stock Investors * 8 Monthly Dividend Stocks to Buy for Consistent Income The post With the Bad News Behind Equifax, EFX Stock Is Becoming a Buy Again appeared first on InvestorPlace.

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    Men with beards are killing the razor industry and after Equifax settlement, should you opt for free credit monitoring or $125? The FTC has an answer

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  • Cost of Capital One’s data breach could exceed $300 million: expert
    Yahoo Finance

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    Capital One’s (COF) data breach of 100 million credit card applications and accounts could become very costly for the company. “This damage to Capital One is probably going to exceed $200 to $300 million dollars by the time it’s all said and done,” said cybersecurity expert Morgan Wright on Yahoo Finance’s The Ticker. Wright is a senior fellow at the Center for Digital Government.