Fri, Mar. 27, 3:12 PM
- Today's notable tech gainers include next-gen firewall leader Palo Alto Networks (PANW +3.5%), touchscreen tech developer UniPixel (UNXL +5.9%), solar microinverter leader Enphase (ENPH +5.8%), optical transport/switching hardware vendor Infinera (INFN +3.8%), telecom service/analytics provider Neustar (NSR +4.4%), and Chinese online classifieds leader 58.com (WUBA +4%). The Nasdaq is up 0.3%
- There are relatively few major decliners today. The group includes Infinera rival Ciena (CIEN -4.5%), Chinese sports lottery site 500.com (WBAI -5.3%), and Chinese online video leader Youku (YOKU -3.4%).
- Palo Alto is adding to Thursday gains seen amid a broader cybersecurity stock rally. Likewise, Enphase gained on Thursday following rival SolarEdge's IPO, Neustar gained after announcing a $150M buyback, and Infinera gained following a bullish MKM note.
- Ciena is reversing the Tuesday gains seen after Stifel reported the company's share of a major Verizon 100G metro contract (has been officially announced) could be larger than expected. 500.com is giving back major Thursday gains; yesterday morning, SA Instablog author/former i-banker MNS Global reported hearing Chinese authorities are thinking of indefinitely extending recently-placed bans on online sports lottery sales, after uncovering corruption.
- Previously covered: EMC, HP, Voxeljet, Skyworks, SuperCom, Stratasys, Qunar, Pandora, SanDisk
Thu, Mar. 26, 2:44 PM
- Though the Nasdaq is nearly flat today, many security tech plays are rallying. CyberArk (CYBR +4.6%) is a standout, adding to Monday's post-lockup gains. So are Qualys (QLYS +4.7%), Vasco (VDSI +3.8%), and Proofpoint (PFPT +4.3%). Palo Alto Networks (PANW +1.8%), Fortinet (FTNT +1.9%), and Imperva (IMPV +2.2%) are up more moderately.
- Possibly helping the group: The House Intelligence Committee has unanimously passed a cybersecurity bill that will make it easier for companies to share information about attacks without risking lawsuits. A full House vote could happen by late April, and the Senate is working on a similar bill. The White House recently floated its own cybersecurity initiatives.
- Yesterday, FBR's Daniel Ives (bullish on the space for some time) forecast spending on "next-generation" security solutions will rise 25% this year, up from a prior 20% estimate. He thinks less than 10% of companies have fully invested in next-gen offerings, and sees evidence of a "surge in deal flow with a major upgrade cycle underway in 2015, as enterprises and governments 'fast track' cybersecurity initiatives across the board."
- Ives expects FireEye (FEYE +0.7%), Palo Alto, Fortinet, and Proofpoint to benefit from the trend, which he isn't sqeamish about hyping. "This once-in-a-multi-decade upgrade opportunity is poised to be a rising tide for all security boats ... with legacy security solutions no longer 'good enough' and next-generation products well positioned to replace traditional firewall and endpoint vendors over the coming years."
- ETF: HACK
- Previously: Three cybersecurity companies reportedly planning $1B+ IPOs
Tue, Mar. 10, 2:55 PM
- Security tech plays, several of which were huge gainers in February, have been hard hit (HACK -2.6%) amid a market selloff. Major decliners include FireEye (FEYE -4%), CyberArk (CYBR -6.6%), Proofpoint (PFPT -4.7%), and Vasco (VDSI -5.5%). Imperva is off sharply after announcing a 3M-share offering.
- FBN Shebly Seyrafi reiterated his bullish stance on the group today, forecasting security IT spend will grow 14% this year (up from 2014's 11%). Palo Alto Networks (PANW -0.5%) and Fortinet (FTNT -2.4%) are his favorites due to positive checks, but he also likes other names, mentioning FireEye and Check Point (CHKP -0.2%) in particular. Palo Alto and Check Point are seeing only modest losses.
- Earlier today, Check Point launched Threat Extraction, a malware-protection tool that proactively extracts and reconstructs documents traveling over a network with known safe elements (so as to remove the threat of malware). The product launch, which furthers Check Point's efforts to grow its software exposure, follows the company's purchase of threat-prevention software startup Hyperwise.
Tue, Mar. 3, 7:24 PM
- Though Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) opened lower today in the wake of its FQ2 beat and strong FQ3 guidance, shares gradually moved higher and finished up 2%, making new highs in the process. A slew of positive analyst notes - at least 11 firms hiked their targets, many to the $165-$170 range - helped the next-gen firewall vendor's cause.
- "We believe Palo Alto is the best-positioned vendor in the space and will continue taking market share at the expense of all other vendors," writes Piper's Andrew Nowinski in one of the upbeat notes. He observes over 1,500 new customers were added (bringing the total base above 22.5K), and that over 1K customers were added for the WildFire threat-protection service (bringing the base above 5K).
- Imperial Capital's Ashok Kumar: "PANW’s ability to upsell into its installed base and sell additional services is key to our investment thesis ... In addition to strong results, the company reported improving leverage. Operating margins of 12.4% compares to [Palo Alto's] target model of 22-25% over the next six quarters."
- On the CC (transcript), CEO Mark McLaughlin mentioned Palo Alto's customer base now includes 916 Global 2000 companies, and that "dozens" of customers were added for his company's recently-launched Traps endpoint protection service. On the hardware side, the high-end PA-7050 firewall (up to 120Gbps of throughput) remains a strong point.
Mon, Mar. 2, 4:33 PM
- In addition to beating FQ2 estimates, Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) is guiding for FQ3 revenue of $219M-$223M (+45-48% Y/Y) and EPS of $0.19-$0.20, mostly above a consensus of $214.2M and $0.19 and possibly conservative given the company's history. Nonetheless, with shares having risen 29% since Palo Alto's Nov. 24 FQ1 beat as of today's close (and up over 150% from their 52-week low), investors are taking the numbers in stride for now.
- FQ2 billings totaled $282.8M, +51% Y/Y and well above revenue of $217.7M; growth was nearly even with FQ1's 52%. The deferred revenue balance (inc. long-term deferred revenue) rose 65% Y/Y to $535.8M.
- Product revenue (revolves around next-gen firewalls) +43% Y/Y to $115.6M. Services revenue (boosted by WildFire and other subscription services) +29% to $102M. 47% of all revenue came from recurring services.
- Not counting a $20M year-ago legal payment, GAAP operating expenses rose 63% Y/Y to $196.8M (compares with 54% revenue growth). Sales/marketing spend totaled $122.9M, R&D $46.9M, and G&A $27M.
- PANW -0.7% AH to $145.00.
- FQ2 results, PR
Mon, Mar. 2, 4:08 PM| 1 Comment
Sun, Mar. 1, 5:35 PM
Mon, Feb. 23, 11:52 AM
- With shares having more than doubled in February as of Friday's close, JPMorgan has downgraded CyberArk (CYBR -11.8%) to Underweight, and is reiterating a $42 target.
- JPMorgan: "Closing at just over $70 the stock is trading at roughly 9.7x our best upside scenario for 2016 revenue that we outline (…) It is not that we think the company cannot reach these estimates, but rather this level of upside appears to already be factored into the stock at these levels."
- Security tech peers FireEye (FEYE -4.4%), Palo Alto Networks (PANW -2.4%), Imperva (IMPV -3.8%), and Vasco (VDSI -3.1%) are following CyberArk lower. The group has rallied strongly in recent weeks.
Fri, Feb. 20, 4:42 PM
- With the help of strong earnings reports, government initiatives, and ongoing hacking scandals bolstering broader corporate interest in cybersecurity, security tech plays are refusing to take a breather. CyberArk (CYBR +9.4%), FireEye (FEYE +4.2%), Imperva (IMPV +8%), Palo Alto Networks (PANW +2.7%), Barracuda (CUDA +3.9%), and Vasco (VDSI +3.6%) were all standouts today.
- CyberArk is now up 93% since Feb. 9, thanks in no small part to its Q4 numbers. FireEye is up 29% since beating Q4 estimates and reporting strong billings on Feb. 11.
- The PureFunds ISE Cyber Security ETF (NYSEARCA:HACK) is up 17% in February.
Wed, Feb. 18, 1:13 PM
- Check Point (CHKP +0.5%) has acquired Hyperwise, a stealth-mode Israeli startup declared to have "developed a unique and cutting-edge CPU-level threat prevention engine that eliminates threats at the point of pre-infection." Calcalist reports the purchase price is $80M.
- Check Point asserts Hyperwise's software "provides a higher catch rate of threats and provides organizations an unmatched level of protection against attackers," in part by blocking malware before it become active on a network, and that its CPU-level blocking can stop previously undetected attacks. It will be added to Check Point's Threat Emulation solution, which runs suspect code in a virtual sandbox to determine if it's a malicious.
- FireEye (NASDAQ:FEYE), whose virtual sandbox solution has often been praised, is arguably the leader in the threat-prevention space. Next-gen firewall vendor Check Point rival Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) is also going after the market, aided by technology obtained from startup Cyvera. Corporate interest has been growing rapidly following a string of well-publicized hacks.
Fri, Feb. 13, 2:50 AM
- President Obama is poised to sign an executive order today aimed at encouraging companies to share more information about cybersecurity threats with the government and each other.
- The order will set the stage for new private-sector led information sharing and analysis organizations, called ISAOs, where companies share cyber threat data with each other and the Department of Homeland Security.
- The move comes as big Silicon Valley companies prove hesitant to fully support more mandated cybersecurity information sharing without reforms to government surveillance practices.
- KEYW, CUDA, PFPT, FEYE +0.5%, PANW +1.3%, QLYS +3% CYBR +18.5% AH
- ETFs: HACK +4.7% AH
Mon, Feb. 2, 6:58 PM
- Palo Alto's (NYSE:PANW) FQ2 report will arrive after the close on Monday, March 2. CC at 4:30PM.
- Consensus is for revenue of $203.9M (+44.5% Y/Y) and EPS of $0.17. The next-gen firewall leader's shares are up 10% since it beat FQ1 estimates, reported 52% Y/Y billings growth, and issued solid FQ2 guidance on Nov. 24.
Mon, Jan. 12, 1:33 PM
- The White House has disclosed Pres. Obama will outline this week "a series of legislative proposals and executive actions that will be in his [Jan. 20] State of the Union that will tackle identity theft and privacy issues, cybersecurity, and access to the Internet."
- Several security tech plays, some of whom received a lift last month from the Sony hack and its fallout, are higher in spite of a 0.9% Nasdaq drop. FEYE +4.5%. CUDA +6.9%. PANW +1.2%. CYBR +1.7%. PFPT +1.3%.
- The gains come on a day in which the U.S. Central Command's (CENTCOM) Twitter and YouTube accounts have been hacked by ISIS supporters.
- ETFs: HACK
Fri, Jan. 2, 12:08 PM
- "Safety used to mean gold, US treasuries, and blue chip stocks. Now it means Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook," says high-profile VC Fred Wilson while offering his 2015 predictions. Though believing rising interest rates and low oil prices will trigger "a noticeable flight to safety," he sees major tech firms continuing to have easy access to capital.
- On the other hand, Wilson is cautious on the near-term outlook for the budding wearables market (John Legere feels differently). "Apple Watch will not be the homerun product that iPod, iPhone, and iPad have been. Not everyone will want to wear a computer on their wrist. Eventually, this market will be realized as the personal mesh/personal cloud, but the focus on wearables will be a bit of a headfake..."
- He also expects virtual reality to "hit some headwinds" after getting hyped in 2014 following the Facebook/Oculus (NASDAQ:FB) deal. "Oculus will struggle to ship their consumer version and competitive products will underwhelm. The virtual reality will eventually catch up to the virtual hype, but not in 2015."
- He forecasts cybersecurity budgets "will explode in 2015 as every company, institution, and government attempts to avoid being Sony’d." But Wilson also thinks "the hacks will continue because on the open internet there is no such thing as an impenetrable system." Cybersecurity plays: FEYE, PANW, FTNT, IMPV, QLYS, PFPT.
- Wilson, a long-time Bitcoin (COIN, OTCQB:BTCS) believer, once more defends the cryptocurrency. "The horrible year that bitcoin had in 2014 will be a wakeup call for all stakeholders. Developers will turn their energy from creating the next bitcoin (all the alt stuff) to creating the stack on top of the bitcoin blockchain. Real decentralized applications will start to emerge..."
- Tech ETFs: QQQ, XLK, PSQ, TQQQ, QID, VGT, SQQQ, QLD, TECL, IYW, ROM, FTEC, TECS, RYT, QQEW, QTEC, IGM, QQQE, FXL, MTK, REW, QQXT
Dec. 18, 2014, 11:13 AM
- FireEye (FEYE +4.9%), recently hired by Sony to probe its massive hacking incident, is rallying strongly on an up day for equities after Sony cancelled The Interview's release in response to the hack and subsequent threats on movie theater chains.
- Other security tech names are also outperforming: PANW +3.2%. KEYW +3.9%. FTNT +2.6%. PFPT +3.2%. Imperva (IMPV +2.6%) is adding to the Wednesday gains it saw following a Deutsche upgrade.
Dec. 12, 2014, 9:54 AM
- A blog post from computer security firm F-Secure may send a chill through the C-suites of major corporations across the globe.
- F-Secure calls the Sony Pictures (NYSE:SNE) hacking incident the worst ever seen by a company, but that's not even the scary part.
- The take from F-Secure is that it's sophisticated extortionists behind the incident - not ticked off North Korea sympathizers.
- The public execution of Sony Pictures could just be a warning aimed at future targets, theorizes F-Secure.
- The FBI has issued a flash alert which warns that other company might already have the malware in their systems.
- Related: Senate passes cybersecurity bill
- Cybersecurity plays: FEYE, CYBR, PFPT, QLYS, IMPV, PANW.
PANW vs. ETF Alternatives
Palo Alto Networks Inc offers an enterprise network security platform that allows enterprises, service providers, and government entities to secure their networks and safely enable applications running on their networks.
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