CrowdStrike Stock Jumps 2.5% – Potential for Further Growth?

One of the standouts of today's afternoon trading session was CrowdStrike, which logged a 2.5% performance and outperformed the S&P 500 by 3.0%. The Software stock is now trading at $349.12 per share and may still have upside potential because it is still -12.4% under its average target price of $398.56. Analysts have set target prices ranging from $260.0 to $540.0 dollars per share, and have given the stock an average rating of buy.

The market seems to share this optimistic view, since CrowdStrike has a short interest of only 2.9% (this is the percentage of the share float that is being shorted). Each short position represents an investor's expectation that the price of the stock will decrease in the future.

When a stock is sold short, it means an investor has borrowed shares of the stock from their broker, and then sold them at the going market price. The investor hopes for the price to decline, so that they might buy those shares back at a lower price in the future. Once they do, they can return the borrowed shares to their broker, and keep the profit they made on the transaction.

One way to get an idea of the market sentiment on a stock is to check its rate of institutional ownership. In the case of CrowdStrike, institutional investors own 75.3% of the shares. This would indicate a positive sentiment towards the stock among institutions. What does this really tell us?

Institutional investors such as hedge funds, investment firms, and wealth managers devote significant resources to identifying good investments. If they have decided to invest in CRWD, it probably means they believe it is a solid investment choice. But it could also mean they are buying up shares in an effort to acquire the company or get seats on the board of directors. Also bear in mind that institutions are fallible (just maybe not quite as fallible as the average retail investor), so they may simply be wrong when they think they've found a good stock.

Overall, there is positive market sentiment on CrowdStrike because its an analyst consensus of some upside potential, a buy rating, an average amount of shares sold short, and an average number of institutional investors. Warren Buffett famously said that in the short term, markets are voting mechanisms, but in the long term, they are weighing mechanisms. This means that long term investors should be aware of a stock's fundamentals before committing.

Buffett was one of the fist investors to focus on free cash flow as a yardstick for a company's health. Here are CRWD's recent cash flows:

Date Reported Cash Flow from Operations ($ k) Capital expenditures ($ k) Free Cash Flow ($ k) YoY Growth (%)
2023 1,166,207 176,529 989,678 40.18
2022 941,007 235,019 705,988 52.6
2021 574,784 112,143 462,641 52.3
2020 356,566 52,799 303,767 1438.45
2019 99,943 80,198 19,745 133.57
2018 -22,968 35,851 -58,819
The above analysis is intended for educational purposes only and was performed on the basis of publicly available data. It is not to be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security. Any buy, sell, or other recommendations mentioned in the article are direct quotations of consensus recommendations from the analysts covering the stock, and do not represent the opinions of Market Inference or its writers. Past performance, accounting data, and inferences about market position and corporate valuation are not reliable indicators of future price movements. Market Inference does not provide financial advice. Investors should conduct their own review and analysis of any company of interest before making an investment decision.