The high-profile problems at The Works illustrates the growing importance of having robust cyber security systems. And it’s underlined the investment appeal of firms like penny stock Corero Network Security (LSE: CNS).
The Works said on Tuesday that “unauthorised access to its computer systems” had caused trading and operating chaos. Some of its stores were forced to close and shop deliveries halted.
The problem of cyber attacks worsened considerably during Covid-19 lockdowns. And it’s expected to keep growing strongly as the world becomes more digitalised.
With a market cap of just £63m Corero Network Security doesn’t have the clout of the industry’s major players. It will have to work extremely hard then to succeed in this ultra-competitive sector.
But I’m impressed by the rate at which Corero is winning business. The tech giant added 44 new customers in 2021 and saw revenues soar 24% year-on-year. It said in January that its “strong momentum” has continued into 2022 too and that it is investing additional resources this year to bolster growth.
Worth the price
It’s important to know that Corero shares look expensive today. At around 12.75p the penny stock trades on a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 141 times.
This is the kind of sky-high rating that might prompt a share price correction if company news flow begins to disappoint. For example if those competitive pressures start to hit revenues growth.
Still, it’s my opinion that Corero’s solid momentum — tied with the rate at which the cyber security market is tipped to keep growing — means that a premium share price is warranted.
Another great penny stock
Getting exposure to the housebuilding sector is another good investment idea today. Property prices continue to soar and Brickability Group (LSE: BRCK) could be a good way to exploit this phenomenon.
As you can probably gather Brickability makes the products that are essential in home construction. Many housebuilders are supercharging build rates as demand continues to exceed supply. A steady stream of positive industry data leads me to think that they’ll remain super busy on the construction front too.
Halifax data today shows average house prices up 11% year-on-year in March. A new record high of £282,753 was also up 1.4% from February, the largest on-month increase for six months.
A dirt-cheap UK share
Of course firms like Brickability could be hit by incoming interest rate rises in 2022. The Bank of England is tipped to step up rate hikes in what could be a blow to buyer affordability.
But so far rate rises and the increasing cost of living is failing to cool the British housing market. And besides, I think Brickability’s dirt-cheap share price reflects this threat.
At 93.5p per share the brickmaker carries a forward price-to-earnings growth (PEG) ratio of 0.3. This is well below the widely-regarded bargain watermark of 1. I’d happily buy Brickability alongside Corero Network Security right now.