New Trade for June 9th, 2023

One of the biggest threats to corporate America is ransomware. The growing possibility of losing access to essential or confidential digital property is a nightmarish scenario for executives, as the financial consequences can be enormous. As the world advances to become more digitized, so do its threats.

The demand for network security software isn’t going anywhere but higher. Our recommendation for today is a company that offers an expansive portfolio of products primarily focusing on cloud security and security operations and is well-positioned to benefit from the increasing need for security solutions.

Palo Alto Network Inc. (PANW)  is a leader in the cybersecurity industry across 13 different categories. The company has been named as a market leader in network firewalls for eleven years by leading research and advisory company, Gartner.  

The company is coming off a fiscal 2023 second quarter (ended Jan. 31) where demand for its solutions appeared to accelerate. In Q2, the number of deals Palo Alto closed that were worth $10 million or more soared by 144% year over year, which is clear evidence of that demand. And the company has accelerated its innovation flywheel with $1 billion in research and development spending over the last 12 months, up to five times more than some of its competitors have spent.

Palo Alto ended Q2 with $8.8 billion in remaining performance obligations (RPOs), up 39% year over year, faster than its 38% growth rate in the first quarter. It’s a critical number to watch because it represents the company’s pipeline of work, which is expected to convert into revenue over time. 
Of the 43 analysts covering Palo Alto Networks stock, 34 have given it the highest possible buy rating. None of the analysts currently recommend selling. PANW share price is up 61% so far in 2023, nearly doubling the return of the Nasdaq-100 technology index.

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