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CrowdStrike shares jump as AI boosts cybersecurity demand

By Sinéad Carew

(Reuters) - Shares in CrowdStrike Holdings were up 11.3% on Wednesday after it reported results and forecast second-quarter revenue above Wall Street expectations on strong demand for its cybersecurity technology.

CrowdStrike last traded at $340.26 after late on Tuesday forecasting current-quarter revenue of $958.3 million to $961.2 million versus analysts' average estimates of $954.4 million, according to LSEG data.

It also raised its full-year 2025 forecast, now targeting revenue of $3.98 billion to $4.01 billion, from its previous $3.92 billion to $3.99 billion estimate.

For the first quarter ended April 30, CrowdStrike reported revenue of $921 million, above analysts' estimates of $904.7 million and adjusted earnings of 93 cents per share, compared with estimates of 89 cents.

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CrowdStrike has beaten estimates for its adjusted earnings for 8 straight quarters while also meeting or beating revenue expectations.

BofA Securities analyst Tal Liani wrote that the company has "defied the laws of gravity yet again" and he is positive on its ability to drive growth and its strong financial profile. Liani reiterated a 'buy' rating with a $400 price target.

Morgan Stanley analyst Hamza Fodderwala cited a potential S&P 500 inclusion as a catalyst for the stock and has a price target of $422 with an "overweight" rating.

BTIG meanwhile, cut its target to $402 from $432 while BMO cut its target to $410 from $425. Oppenheimer raised its target to $400 from $355.

Rival Palo Alto Networks on May 21 provided a largely in-line fourth-quarter billings forecast while Zscaler's shares surged on Friday after it reported strong demand and hiked its 2024 full-year profit forecast.

On Wednesday, shares in Palo Alto were up 1.7% while Zscaler shares were up 4%.

(This story has been corrected to fix the spelling of Zscaler in paragraph 10)

(Reporting By Sinéad Carew;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)