- Next-gen firewall leader Palo Alto Networks (PANW +3.3%) remains Morgan Stanley's "favorite play on the secular trend towards consolidated network security functionality," writes Morgan Stanley's Keith Weiss in an upbeat note.
- Weiss is raising his PT by $15 to $105, and sees several factors strengthening his confidence in Palo Alto's ability to post 30%+ billings growth and 45%+ FCF growth in FY15 (ends July '15). They include an ongoing core security consolidation trend, new product cycles, slowing spending growth, and improving margins.
- The new products include Palo Alto's high-end PA 7050 firewall (120Gbps of throughput), an update to its WildFire malware protection service, and Cyvera's advanced endpoint protection offerings. Weiss also sees improving sales productivity and the ramping of Palo Alto's VMware partnership providing a boost.
- Enterprise security peers FireEye (FEYE +4.2%) and Imperva (IMPV +5.6%) also rallied on a day that was kind to many well-shorted tech names. FireEye topped $40 for the first time since May 6.
at CNBC.com (Jan 15, 2015)