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Palo Alto Is Halfway There

Written by Briton Ryle
Posted February 26, 2019 at 7:00PM

I can't tell you how surprised I was when a carload of my daughter's friends started belting out “Don't Stop Believing” when it came on the radio a few years back. They knew every single word. 

For some reason, teenagers today have a special fondness for the crappy music of my generation. That is, music from the 1980s. 

I cannot explain this phenomenon. It makes no sense at all. Because for the most part, ’80s pop music is terrible.  

I mean, “Tommy's got his six-string in hock, Now he's holding in what he used to make it talk, So tough, it's tough.” What does that even mean? Maybe it made sense before it was translated from its original language... 

To me, Bon Jovi was always a special kind of horrible. Of course, I was playing bass in punk rock bands at the time...

Still, I found myself belting out “Whooooah! We're halfway there...” when I saw that Palo Alto Networks (NYSE: PANW) was up $18 to $254 this morning after the company trounced earnings last night. 

Halfway to... What, Exactly? 

Back on January 16th, I wrote right here in Wealth Daily that Palo Alto is one of my favorite stocks for 2019...

I recommended Palo Alto [to Wealth Advisory subscribers] a little over a year ago at $138 . It's breaking over $200 now and was as high as $240 before the correction. Palo Alto is pretty much the best cybersecurity play out there. Morgan Stanley recently loaded up and is calling it one of its top ideas for 2019. I don't always agree with Wall Street analysts, but this time I do.

Because cybersecurity is only getting more important. China and Russia are basically trying to steal everything they can from U.S. companies. Protection from companies like Palo Alto is mission critical, regardless of what the economy or the Fed is doing.  

Wall Street analysts currently have an average 12-month price target of $241 for Palo Alto. I'll tell you right now: that is too low. $280 to $300 is much more likely. 

The day that Wealth Daily article came out, the stock closed just over $200 a share. And analysts across the board are raising their price targets to the $280–$300 range. (Hmmm, why does that price range sound so familiar??)

Sing it with me: “Whooooaaah! Palo Alto is halfway there in just six weeks...”

So Much Winning

When I see a stock making a big intra-day move, I like to ask the question: Is this a one-day event? 

As in, is this move driven by emotions that are just as likely to reverse the next day? Or is there some real fundamental change that will take a little while to be fully appreciated? 

Well, Palo Alto reported $1.52 in per-share earnings, when analysts were expecting $1.22 a share. That was 25% better than expected and 43% better than the company did last year. 43% earnings growth for a $23 billion company is very, very good.

One analyst wrote: “Last night represents just the start of this next phase of growth poised to happen at PANW...”

I obviously agree, since before today, I was pretty much the most bullish analyst for Palo Alto. But let me show you why I agree...

In this last quarter, Palo Alto revenue was up 30% over last year. This at a time when corporations are spending about 5% of their tech budgets on cybersecurity. That number is expected to double — in the next five years. As the best company in the space, well, Palo Alto is going to see a surge in revenue. 

Now, I'm glad I was able write up this great stock here in Wealth Daily when it was still around $200. If you bought shares, you've got 25% gains already. And I feel confident that you'll have 50% gains by the end of the year. 

But don't forget, Wealth Advisory subscribers got the recommendation for Palo Alto in November of 2016 — at $139. They're up 85%. Our November Feature Recommendation is up 56%. And the December Feature Recommendation is up 35%. (I didn't want to mention the January stock, cause it's only up 5%. Sad! Very unfair!)

I will continue to bring quality investments to Wealth Daily every chance I get. But why wait? A Wealth Advisory subscription is just $99 a year. And we've got the brand new March Top 10 video coming out in a couple days...

Until next time,

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Briton Ryle

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A 21-year veteran of the newsletter business, Briton Ryle is the editor of The Wealth Advisory income stock newsletter, with a focus on top-quality dividend growth stocks and REITs. Briton also manages the Real Income Trader advisory service, where his readers take regular cash payouts using a low-risk covered call option strategy. He also contributes a weekly column to the Wealth Daily e-letter. To learn more about Briton, click here.

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