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Lululemon's Big Beat; Plus, The Tech Stock Proving Shorts Wrong

Palo Alto Networks stock rally could be contained at familiar resistance

Sep 1, 2017 at 9:43 AM
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Analysts are weighing in on cloud name Nutanix Inc (NASDAQ:NTNX), cybersecurity stock Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW), and yoga apparel maker Lululemon Athletica inc. (NASDAQ:LULU). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on shares of NTNX, PANW, and LULU.

NTNX Stock Set to Soar on Impressive Revenue Numbers

Nutanix shares received price-target hikes from Morgan Stanley (to $22) and J.P. Morgan Securities (to $26), after the company reported a slimmer-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter loss, while posting a revenue beat. The tech firm also forecast upbeat current-quarter revenue numbers, sending NTNX shares 6% higher out of the gate to $23.25.

NTNX stock has been rising atop a trendline connecting a series of higher lows since its early May bottom of $14.38, even with short interest more than doubling in value over this same time frame. Currently, 14.05 million NTNX share are sold short, or nearly 40% of the stock's float. This could speak to underlying strength in NTNX, and prompt some of the weaker bearish hands to capitulate to this positive price action.

J.P. Morgan Securities Upgrades PANW Stock After Earnings

Palo Alto Networks earnings got a boost from the recent WannaCry ransomware attack, with fiscal fourth-quarter profit and revenue coming in above estimates. Analysts were quick to chime in, with J.P. Morgan Securities upgrading PANW stock to "overweight" from "neutral," and joining no fewer than five other brokerage firms in raising their respective price targets.

PANW shares are up 8.2% higher to trade at $143.42. Nevertheless, the $141-$144 neighborhood has kept a tight lid on the stock since early June.

One group of short sellers could be breathing a sigh of relief today, considering short interest on PANW fell 12% in the most recent reporting period. With just 4.35 million shares sold short, these bearish bets are at their lowest level since February 2016.

Post-Earnings Price-Target Hikes Pour In for Lululemon Athletica Stock

LULU stock is up 6.5% to trade at $61.35, after the retailer reported stronger-than-expected second-quarter earnings thanks to a 30% pop in online sales. A round of price-target hikes is stoking the bullish flames, with J.P. Morgan Securities setting the loftiest target at $71 -- in territory not charted since last December.

Heading into today's trading, Lululemon stock had been trending lower since hitting a near-term high of $64 -- a key technical level for the shares. Options traders, meanwhile, have rarely been as call-skewed among options set to expire in three months or less, per LULU's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.58, in the bottom percentile of its annual range.

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