CrowdStrike forecasts upbeat annual results, shares surge 25%

By Harshita Mary Varghese

(Reuters) -CrowdStrike Holdings forecast annual results above Wall Street estimates on Tuesday, lifted by strong enterprise spending on cybersecurity to counter rising online threats, sending its shares soaring in extended trade.

Shares of CrowdStrike jumped 25%, lifting its stock market value by about $18 billion, while other cybersecurity stocks also rallied. SentinelOne jumped 6.9%, while Palo Alto Networks and Fortinet each gained over 3%, and Zscaler rose over 2%.

The fast adoption of generative AI has opened new challenges for enterprises and has led to investments in cybersecurity services, such as the ones offered by CrowdStrike, to secure their business operations against external threats.

"The cloud is today's battleground for cyber attacks and generative AI is an adversary force multiplier," CEO George Kurtz said in a post-earnings call.

Analysts expect CrowdStrike, which offers unified platforms such as Falcon, to benefit from improved spending trends.

The company sees adjusted profit between $3.77 and $3.97 per share for fiscal 2025, above analysts' expectations of $3.75, according to LSEG data.

The Austin, Texas-based company expects annual revenue between $3.92 billion and $3.99 billion, the midpoint of which was above estimates of $3.94 billion.

It expects first-quarter revenue between $902.2 million and $905.8 million, above analysts' estimates of $899.3 million.

Excluding items, it expects profit between 89 cents and 90 cents per share in the first quarter, which was also above expectations.

The company said it agreed to acquire cloud data runtime security solution, Flow Security, to expand its data protection offerings for the cloud.

CrowdStrike's revenue for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31 rose 32.6% to $845.3 million, beating Street expectations of $839.1 million.

"CrowdStrike's quarterly revenue signaled ongoing strong and stable demand for offerings from the premium cybersecurity vendor, which our experts continue to characterize as a leader in the market," said Jordan Berger, an analyst at Third Bridge.

(Reporting by Harshita Mary Varghese and Shivansh Tiwary; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)