The Best and Worst Performing Security Stocks of 2017

SSI’s annual summary takes a look at the strong performance of publicly-traded electronic security companies in 2017. The solid run follows a comparable ascending market sector posted the previous year.

The Best and Worst Performing Security Stocks of 2017

Underperforming Security Stocks

Anixter (NYSE: AXE)

  • 6.2% stock price decline, $81.05 to $76
  • EV/EBITDA declined from 10.6x to 9.5x
  • The company expects 2017 revenues to increase by 3.5%, with EBITDA to climb by 4.7%

Ascent Capital Group (Nasdaq: ASCMA)

  • 29.3% stock price decline, $16.26 to $11.49
  • EV/EBITDA remained relatively constant for the year moving from 6.1x to 5.9x
  • Revenues fell by an estimated 2.3% to $557 million. EBITDA fell slightly from $311 million to $309 million. At the end of 2017, Ascent had debt of approximately 5.6x EBITDA.

CyberArk Software (Nasdaq: CYBR)

  • 9% stock price decline
  • EV/EBITDA declined from 30x to 20.6x
  • Revenues grew by 18.6% to $257 million, and EBITDA by 32.8% to $56 million.

F5 Networks (Nasdaq: FFIV)

  • 9.3% stock price decline
  • EV/EBITDA declined from 14x to 8.7x
  • Revenues grew in 2017 by just 3.2% while increasing EBITDA by 35.8% to $829 million.


  • Stock price decline, $4.25 to $4.12
  • EV/EBITDA increased from 7.2x to 8.7x
  • EBITDA declined by 15.4% to $50 million. For the year revenues increased by 9.3% to $733 million.

IndigoVision (LON: IND)

  • 25.2% stock price decline, $2.05 to $1.53
  • EV/Revenue decline from .2x to .1x
  • Revenue declined from $46 million to an estimated $43 million as EBIT-DA turned negative in 2017 as well.

Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI)

  • 7.5% stock price decline, $44.19 to $38.11
  • EV/EBITDA multiple decreased from 14.7x to 10.4x
  • On the heels of its 2016 merger with Tyco, JCI estimates 2017 revenues of $30.1 billion
  • Reported EBITDA grew by 27.4% from $3.8 billion to $4.8 billion

2017 Security M&A OVERVIEW

In 2017, mergers and acquisitions activity remained robust in the security industry. What follows is a selection of notable transactions by industry sector.

Access Control

Fire/Life Safety

Video Surveillance


Systems Integration

  • Private equity backed Convergint Technologies continued its system integrator consolidation effort as it completed its 14th acquisition within 24 months in December 2017 with the purchase of Genesis Security.
  • ADT acquired three security systems integrators in 2017, including Gaston Security, MSE Corporate Security and Protec, as it built out its integrated solutions division.


  • ID Watchdog was acquired by Equifax (NYSE: EFX) for $63.5 million in a consumer identity theft protection sector deal. This transaction came on the heels of the acquisition of consumer identity theft protection provider LifeLock by Symantec (Nasdaq: SYMC) for $2.5 billion.
  • Honeywell acquired cybersecurity company NextNine in a deal high-lighting the convergence of physical and IT security.
  • ADT continued to build out its portfolio of IT security services with a deal for Datashield, a company that now operates under the brand ADT Cybersecurity.

Alarm Monitoring

Canadian telecommunication and media company BCE acquired AlarmForce for $202 million or 3.9x revenue.

Home and Building Automation

Thomas McConnell is Managing Director of Capstone Headwaters, an independent, middle market investment banking firm based in Denver.

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