5 Stocks for the Next 5 Years, Year 1 Review: FireEye

By Stocks Fool.com

Last year at about this time on his Rule Breaker Investingpodcast, Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner picked his first set of "five stocks to hold for the next five years." Now, it's time to check back in and see how those picks are performing. Of course, these are long-term buy-and-hold recommendations, so try to understand if not every pick is winning yet. Case in point: anti-hacking company FireEye, which has been the biggest loser of the bunch.

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A transcript follows the video.

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This video was recorded on Sept. 7, 2016.

David Gardner:Let's talk about the five stocks for the next five years. I will remind you it's five stocks for the next five years, so we're just having fun on the one-year anniversary of this list, but we'll review this list in future years as well, and I don't want to call premature wins or losses here. We're just along the journey -- but it has been one solid year, so let's take a look at these five.

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I want to lead off with FireEye. Now, if you are a Motley Fool Stock Advisor member, you might be cursing me as I talk about this particular company, because this has been one of my very worst performers in recent memory, and yes, just a year ago, "5 Stocks for the Next 5 Years" included FireEye. The stock, at the time, was at $36.86. Today it tips the scales right about $15.50. So the stock is down 58% since I picked it on this show a year ago, and the stock market is up 14%, which means it's been a huge underperformer, about 73 percentage points below the market.

What's happened? Well, a lot of bad things for FireEye over the last year. This is a company that is an emergent leader in the cyber security space. I continue to recommend the stock today. I personally own shares of it, so yes, I've taken a bath so far. The CEO, Dave DeWalt, stepped down a few months ago in June of 2016, so we lost our CEO in the meantime.

Here's a headline you may not have heard recently -- how this or that large consumer products company got hacked and all of your credit card information was given away. We do, sadly, still hear those stories from time to time, but can you think of a really high-profile hack at any point in the last six months? Most of us probably can't. I can't. In fact, cyber security attacks and high-profile hacks have significantly reduced short-term demand for FireEye's products.

Part of my thinking about this company and this industry is that cyber security, to me, is going to be the industry that never dies as long as our civilization continues. To me, this is always going to be a constant -- somebody trying to hack somebody else using computers. The internet is such a profound thing in our lives, today. It's so integral to the future of the world. That's why I really like cyber security.

FireEye has actually been a disappointing performer within that space, but it's a company that I continue to believe will be a winner. They are not profitable. They're still shooting for operating cash flow in 2017. We knew that going into the recommendation -- eyes wide open. Sometimes I say yes, andI recommend companies that don't have profits yet when I can foresee them getting them later on. Sometimes those stocks do even better if they didn't have profits at the time because maybe people weren't buying the stock, and so the bandwagons can show up later on when the stock is starting to earn money.

In this case, it hasn't worked out well. The company was laying off employees this year, so it's not been a great time. I don't feel great about FireEye, obviously. This is the big dog -- I'm foreshadowing where we're headed with this podcast -- this is the big dog of "5 Stocks for the Next 5 Years."

The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends FireEye. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.