Cybersecurity Stock Pops on Analyst Praise

The options pits have been much optimistic than usual

Digital Content Manager
Feb 14, 2023 at 10:51 AM
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The shares of Palo Alto Networks Inc (NASDAQ:PANW) are up 2.8% at $171.02, after Goldman Sachs initiated coverage on the cybersecurity name with a "buy" rating, with the brokerage predicting upside of over 20% for PANW, and praising the company for being ahead of the competition in key areas. Plus, Jefferies hiked is price target to $195 from $175.

Shares are today trading at their highest level since early December, with the 20-day moving average guiding the security higher. A new floor appears to be emerging at the $165 level, and so far this year Palo Alto Networks stock has already added more than 22%.

Short sellers are already starting to hit the exits, with short interest down 4.9% over the last two reporting periods. The 19.23 million shares sold short still make up 6.5% of the equity's available float, though, meaning there's still plenty of pessimism left to unwind.

Over at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the equity's 50-day call/put volume ratio of 2.26 sits higher than all readings from the past 12 months. This means that options traders have been unusually bullish of late.

These options traders are in luck, as the stock sports attractively priced premiums at the moment. This is per its Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 44% that sits in the relatively low 21st percentile of its annual range.


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