A Reversal for Palo Alto Networks Inc Is Not Near. Professional Options Traders Are Bullish

In today’s session Palo Alto Networks Inc (PANW) registered an unusually high (647) contracts volume of call trades. Someone, most probably a professional was a very active buyer of the March, 2016 call, expecting serious PANW increase. With 647 contracts traded and 8604 open interest for the Mar, 16 contract, it seems this is a quite bullish bet. The option with symbol: PANW160318C00160000 closed last at: $2.25 or 246.2% up. The stock increased 4.72% or $7.12 on March 11, hitting $157.87. About 1.65M shares traded hands. Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW) has declined 9.55% since August 6, 2015 and is downtrending. It has underperformed by 6.61% the S&P500.

Out of 36 analysts covering Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW), 35 rate it “Buy”, 0 “Sell”, while 5 “Hold”. This means 88% are positive. $225 is the highest target while $163 is the lowest. The $193.06 average target is 20.81% above today’s ($157.87) stock price. Palo Alto Networks was the topic in 51 analyst reports since July 22, 2015 according to StockzIntelligence Inc. Bank of America upgraded the stock on February 26 to “Buy” rating. Needham maintained the shares of PANW in a report on February 26 with “Buy” rating. Finally, Topeka Capital Markets maintained the stock with “Buy” rating in a February 26 report.

The institutional sentiment increased to 1.39 in 2015 Q3. Its up 0.15, from 1.24 in 2015Q2. The ratio improved, as 50 funds sold all Palo Alto Networks Inc shares owned while 153 reduced positions. 83 funds bought stakes while 199 increased positions. They now own 59.77 million shares or 10.21% less from 66.56 million shares in 2015Q2.

Sc Xi Management Llc holds 69.96% of its portfolio in Palo Alto Networks Inc for 2.02 million shares. Hamilton Lane Advisors Llc owns 105,924 shares or 8.98% of their US portfolio. Moreover, Afton Capital Management Llc has 5.85% invested in the company for 11,500 shares. The California-based Scge Management L.P. has invested 5.57% in the stock. Westend Capital Management Llc, a California-based fund reported 23,467 shares.

Since March 10, 2015, the stock had 0 insider buys, and 21 sales for $31.12 million net activity. Bonvanie Rene sold 224 shares worth $36,202. Tomlinson Steffan sold 237 shares worth $38,304. Zuk Nir sold 224 shares worth $36,202. Mclaughlin Mark D sold 35,000 shares worth $5.88M. The insider Warmenhoven Daniel J sold 5,000 shares worth $872,116.

Palo Alto Networks, Inc. is a security company. The company has a market cap of $14.38 billion. The Company’s security platform consists of three elements: its Next-Generation Firewall, its Advanced Endpoint Protection, and its Threat Intelligence Cloud. It currently has negative earnings. The Company’s Next-Generation Firewall delivers application, user, and content visibility and control, as well as protection against network cyber threats integrated within the firewall through its hardware and software architecture.

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