Analyst Update: Check Point Software Technologies Ltd, Palo Alto Networks, Inc., and Rambus Inc.

Analysts adjusted their ratings on Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (CHKP), Palo Alto Networks Inc (PANW), and Rambus Inc. (RMBS)

by Griffin Kruse

Published on Apr 21, 2015 at 11:56 AM
Updated on Apr 21, 2015 at 12:02 PM

Analysts are weighing in today on a number of software and cybersecurity firms, including Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ:CHKP), Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW), and Rambus Inc. (NASDAQ:RMBS). Here's a quick look at today's brokerage notes on CHKP, PANW, and RMBS.

  • The shares of CHKP are 0.2% higher at $86.05 -- and earlier touched a 14-year high of $88.18 -- after last night's earnings beat prompted a number of brokerage firms to hike their price targets on the equity. Drilling down, the loftiest increase came from Needham (to $100), while Citigroup and Credit Suisse elevated their price targets to $98 and $95, respectively. The hikes should come as no surprise, considering the shares of Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. have advanced 9.5% year-to-date. Near-term speculators are more call-skewed than usual, based on CHKP's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.34, which is the lowest such reading from the past year. Said another way, short-term traders have never been this call-heavy on the equity over the past 12 months.
  • Sector-peer PANW it up 3.9% at $152.26 -- and earlier touched an all-time high of $153.10 -- after Imperial Capital resumed coverage of the stock with an "outperform" rating and a $170 price target. This good news is more of the same for Palo Alto Networks Inc, as the shares have more than doubled in value during the past year. Options traders are likely cheering today's rally, as PANW's 50-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio of 1.93 stands in the 99th percentile of its annual range. Meanwhile, a majority of covering analysts are optimistic on PANW, with 82% doling out "buy" or "strong buy" ratings. What's more, there are no "sell" recommendations to be found.
  • RMBS posted a first-quarter earnings beat, sending the shares 12.5% higher to $14.36 and sparking a wave of upbeat analyst attention. Specifically, J.P. Morgan Securities increased its price target to $12.50, Jefferies raised its price target to $13, and Topeka Capital elevated its price target to $15 -- in three-year-high territory. Looking back, Rambus Inc. has been trending upwards, with the shares up 29.5% year-to-date. However, options traders have favored puts more than usual lately, as RMBS' SOIR of 0.44 is higher than 93% of all similar readings from the past year.

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