With Amazon (AMZN) and Google (GOOGL) vacuuming up the reputation and the hype and the sky-high stock valuations, it sometimes seems that the tech sector isn’t for the budget-minded investor. Even the more staid stocks, like Microsoft (MSFT) can have share prices well above $100. So, what do you do if you’re looking to invest in tech but are on a tight budget? Let’s take a look at three tech stocks for cost-conscious investors – all are priced under $15 per share, and show at least 40% upside potential.

Cyren Ltd. (CYRN)

A small cybersecurity firm based in the suburbs of Washington, DC, Cyren has developed a reputation for product excellence. The company specializes in cloud-based security as a service (SECaaS), with products for inbound and outbound spam, phishing, malware, ransomware, and botnet detection and protection.

Cyren’s reputational achievements in the field are more impressive given its small size – the company is microcap, with a total market capitalization of just $82.3 million. The stock is priced accordingly, at just $1.51 per share.

The analysts agree that this stock, despite its low cost and the company’s small size, is investment grade. Writing from B. Riley FBR, Dan Drawbaugh says, “Cloud-delivered cybersecurity solutions provider Cyren reported 2Q19 results on August 14 before market open. The quarter was, on the whole, about in line with our expectations: Revenue of $9.7M met our estimate and marked a quarterly record for CYRN… we are tempering our growth outlook for the company in the second half of 2019 in order to reflect a shift in product strategy within the enterprise business and gradual expansion of the threat intelligence business.” He gives CYRN shares a $3 price target, indicating a 98% upside potential. Craig-Hallum analyst Chad Bennett agrees with Drawbaugh’s assessment, also setting a $3 target for the stock.

CYRN shares have a Moderate Buy from the analyst consensus, and an average price target of $3. As noted, this target gives the stock an impressive 98% upside.

FireEye, Inc. (FEYE)

Silicon Valley-based FireEye provides hardware and software – and their support services – to analyze IT security, defend against malware attacks, and investigate cybersecurity breaches. FireEye has counted several blue-chip companies among its clients, including Target, JP Morgan, and Sony Pictures, and it is one of the industry’s fastest growing firms. The company’s recent quarterly report was not spectacular, but did meet expectations, and confirmed several top-rated analysts in their positive views of the stock.

Nomura analyst Christopher Eberle was impressed enough to initiate coverage of FEYE with a Buy rating, writing, “We see strong signs emerging of underlying recurring revenue growth, which may be the catalyst to drive overall revenue growth into the low double digits, after several years of "stagnant" mid-single-digit growth. Further, the foundation has been laid for FireEye's Helix platform, which should drive greater adoption.” Eberle’s $16 price target suggests an 18% upside for the shares.

5-star analyst Jonathan Ruykhaver, from Baird, focused on FireEye’s improved billing situation when he wrote, “…billings growth accelerated to 13% supported by platform, cloud subscription and managed services which grew billings 27% Y/Y. We think end-of-life related churn is largely behind the company, and like the risk/reward going forward.” He did not put a price target on the shares, but did rate FEYE as a Buy.

At $13.52, FireEye has the highest share price of the stocks in this list. The average price target, $19, suggests an upside potential of 40%. The Moderate Buy consensus rating comes from 8 buys and 4 holds given in the past three months.

Zix Corporation (ZIXI)

Even though much of our digital communication is handled through messenger apps, email remains important. It’s a better format for long-form messages, a more convenient format for less urgent communications, and better able to handle large document attachments. Email is here to stay, and so we need to keep it safe. That’s what Zix does. Zix’s products provide email encryption and data loss prevention. Customers have included the US Treasury and various Blue Cross Blue Shield organizations.

Zix’s solid niche impressed Cowen analyst Nick Yako enough to initiate his coverage of the stock with a Buy rating. The analyst said, “The company's acquisition of AppRiver in January sets it on a new growth trajectory to reach annual recurring revenue of $257M-$350M in three to five years, up significantly from $76M in 2018.” He added that the increasing prevalence of cloud computing will prove a benefit to Zix going forward. Yako’s $11 price target indicates a possible 46% upside to ZIXI.

Writing more recently, Northland Securities 5-star analyst Tim Klasell reiterated his Buy rating. Klasell agrees that the AppRiver acquisition will be a revenue driver, as will Zix’s new status as an authorized reseller of MSFT’s Office 365. Klasell gives ZIXI shares a $12 price target.

Like the other stocks in this list, ZIXI has a Moderate Buy rating from the analyst consensus. Shares sell for only $7.50, and the $12 average price target gives them a 60% upside potential.

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