Equifax Breach Boosts Palo Alto Profits; Plus, Boeing Stock Flirts with Record Highs

Urban Outfitters and Palo Alto Networks reported strong earnings

Nov 21, 2017 at 9:46 AM
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Analysts are weighing in on Dow stock Boeing Co (NYSE:BA), retailer Urban Outfitters, Inc. (NASDAQ:URBN), and cybersecurity expert Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on shares of BA, URBN, and PANW.

Jefferies Bumps Up Price Target On BA Stock

Boeing stock is trading up 0.6% at $266.08 this morning, just below its Nov. 8 record high of $267.62, following a price-target hike to $312 from $300 at Jefferies. The brokerage firm expressed optimism toward the aerospace company's commercial airline and services businesses, and said free cash flow should bolster BA stock.

BA shares, which are up more than 81% over the past year, have been consolidating atop their 40-day moving average in recent weeks. But there's still notable skepticism seen from analysts, considering eight brokerage firms have just tepid "hold" recommendations on the stock. This leaves potential for additional bullish attention in the future, which could result in tailwinds.

Analyst Notes Pour In After Urban Outfitters Earnings Beat

A number of price-target increases have come through on Urban Outfitters stock since yesterday's close, after the company reported stronger-than-expected third-quarter earnings and revenue. The highest mark came from KeyBanc at $35, while J.P. Morgan Securities upgraded the equity to "overweight" from "neutral." URBN was last seen trading 3.8% higher at $29.33 -- a new year-to-date high -- pacing for a sixth straight daily gain, and its fifth straight monthly win after hitting an eight-year low of $16.19 in early June.

It would seem near-term options traders were bracing for an upside move from the retail stock. That's because its Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) comes in at 0.51, showing call open interest doubles put open interest among contracts expiring within three months. Moreover, this reading ranks just 6 percentage points from an annual call-skewed extreme.

Equifax Breach Boosts Palo Alto Profits

Shares of Palo Alto Networks are surging after the firm topped earnings expectations for the third straight quarter, gaining 9.1% to trade at $155.55. The company's top- and bottom-line numbers exceeded estimates for its fiscal first quarter -- with help from the Equifax (EFX) data breach -- and it gave an upbeat outlook for the current quarter and full year. Jefferies was one of several brokerage firms to raise its price target, setting its mark at $183 -- territory PANW stock hasn't explored since late 2015. The security will now battle the $155 area that acted as a ceiling early this year.

In the meantime, those shorting the stock continue to get burnt. The roughly 5 million Palo Alto Networks shares controlled by short sellers are the equivalent of five days of buying power, at PANW's average daily trading volume. This leaves the potential for a short squeeze to shoot PANW even higher.

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