Bulls Blast Cybersecurity Name Amid Fresh Record Highs

No fewer than 19 analysts have chimed in with price-target hikes

Deputy Editor
Aug 24, 2021 at 11:12 AM
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The shares of Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW) are surging today, last seen up 18.4% at a fresh record high of $441. Today's price action came after the cybersecurity name's blowout fiscal fourth-quarter results and full-year forecast. It is also worth noting that the firm, which has acquired 14 companies in the last three-and-a-half years, didn't announce any new acquisitions this time, and is not currently looking for any new mergers -- instead focusing on its new products and capabilities. 

In turn, no fewer than 19 analysts raised their price targets on PANW, with the highest hike coming from Morgan Stanley to $550 from $515. This is especially noteworthy as the stock's 12-month consensus price target of $475.78 is already an 8.6% premium to current levels. 

Palo Alto Networks stock is now breaking above a ceiling around the $405 level, which rejected the equity's rally earlier this month. Bouncing off the $360 mark, the security is also pacing for its fourth-consecutive daily win, and sports a 63% year-over-year lead.

Options traders have been quick to the draw, with options volume running at 25 times the intraday average. So far, 32,000 calls and 21,000 puts have crossed the tape. The weekly 8/27 450-strike call is the most popular, followed by the 460-strike call in the same series, with new positions being opened at both. This means traders are betting on even more upside for PANW by the time these contracts expire at the end of this week. 



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