Few new exchange traded funds experience a first six months of trading on par with the PureFunds ISE Cyber Security ETF (NYSEArca: HACK).
HACK debuted on Nov. 12, 2014, becoming the first dedicated cyber security on the market. Its timing was fortuitous. Within weeks of HACK coming to market, the cycber security investment theme entered the limelight after Sony’s (NYSE: SNE) delayed the release of “The Interview” due to a security breach by North Korean hackers. [North Korea Hates This ETF]
That news boosted shares of HACK while stoking investor interest in the new ETF. Helped by “The Interview” controversy, HACK amassed $53 million in assets in less than a month of trading. The inflows, and more importantly, the returns have continued.
HACK is one of just 13 ETFs to hit all-time highs Thursday, extending its six-month gain to almost 15%. That is better than double the performance of the Nasdaq Composite over the same period. The ETF’s asset-gathering proficiency has been stunning as well.
HACK entered Thursday with $553.3 million in assets under management, according to PureFunds data. Said another way, the ETF’s AUM tally has multiplied by 5.5 times since Jan. 6. In just two months, HACK AUM figure has more than doubled from $231 million on Feb. 17. [Volume Soars in Cyber Security ETF]
HACK benchmarks to the ISE Cyber Security Index, “which tracks the performance of companies actively engaged in providing services for cyber security and for which cyber security business activities are a key driver of their business model. These cyber security services are designed to protect computer hardware, software, networks and data from unauthorized access, vulnerabilities, attacks and other security breaches,” according to PureFunds.
Further confirmation of HACK’s success among traders and investors comes by way of the options market. Options data on the ETF can be deemed “decent,” give the ETF’s age and impressive is the fact that options on the ETF launched just two weeks after the fund debuted.
Mergers and acquisitions activity could be the next catalyst to propel HACK. HACK holding Exelis (NYSE: XLS) is currently a target of Harris Corp. (NYSE: HRS). Palo Alto Networks (NasdaqGS: PANW), HACK’s eighth-largest holding at a weight of 4.3%, has been frequently mentioned as a potential target.
Confirming the strength of HACK and the cyber security investment theme this year is this factoid. Eight of the nine U.S.-listed stocks found among the ETF’s top 10 holdings are up double-digits this year. The worst performer of the nine is Juniper Networks (NasdaqGS: JNPR) with a year-to-date gain of 9.3%.
PureFunds ISE Cyber Security ETF