FireEye's debut signals red hot interest in cyber security

Sep 21 2013, 15:29 IST
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FireEye is the latest in a string of successful public offerings from technology companies. Reuters FireEye is the latest in a string of successful public offerings from technology companies. Reuters
SummaryFireEye is the latest in a string of successful public offerings from technology companies.

The shares of cyber security company FireEye Inc leapt 80 percent in their trading debut on Friday in a sign of how  red hot cyber security is on Wall Street at the moment, and even inspired at least one peer to accelerate plans to go public.

FireEye, whose debut ranks as the sixth biggest first-day  close in the United States this year, is the latest in a string of successful public offerings from technology companies.

"This is good for everybody in security," George Kurtz, CEO of cyber security startup CrowdStrike, said of the FireEye IPO. "It shows that there are a lot of legs in the security market going forward as the security market emerges."

Companies are pursuing public offerings as stock markets rise, the result of an easy monetary policy and a gradually recuperating U.S. economy. This week, the U.S. Federal Reserve took a surprise decision to maintain the monthly $85 billion  bond purchase program that has kept rates low and boosted investor appetite for risk, a boon for equity markets.

FireEye and ad technology company Rocket Fuel Inc, which also went public on Friday and whose shares have nearly doubled in value, are helping to set the stage for other high profile technology offerings later this year and in 2014. These include Twitter, Box and Dropbox.

Analysts say cybersecurity companies in particular are in high demand because of the scarcity of public corporations in that market and the growing threat of online crime worldwide.

Businesses, increasingly frustrated as they discover computer viruses in their networks, are looking to FireEye and others to provide technologies to augment anti-virus software.

"Security is hot. This will open the door for more companies to do this," said Kim Forrest of Fort Pitt Capital Group.

Jay Chaudhry, chief executive of cybersecurity company Zscaler, told Reuters that plans for its IPO have been pushed ahead six to nine months following the success of FireEye's IPO.

"The window is open," he added.

Others are more patient. Andre Durand, CEO of Ping Identity, said the hot reaction to FireEye will not affect the timing of his firm's IPO, which is expected next year or in 2015.

FireEye soared to $44.89 at one point on Friday, more than doubling its $20 IPO price. It fell back in later trading and closed at $36 for an 80 percent gain. That was enough to accord it the sixth best debut of 2013, behind companies such as Sprouts Farmers Market Inc

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