Why Palo Alto Networks Inc. Shares Could Spike 20%

Does this analyst make a good case? Or is it just more noise from Wall Street?

May 27, 2014 at 9:58AM

While Fools should generally take the opinion of Wall Street with a grain of salt, it's not a bad idea to take a closer look at particularly stock-shaking upgrades and downgrades -- just in case their reasoning behind the call makes sense.

What: Shares of Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) surged 3% today after Nomura Securities upgraded the network security technologist from neutral to buy.

So what: Along with the upgrade, analyst Frederick Grieb planted a price target of $80 on the stock, representing about 19% worth of upside to Friday's close. So while momentum traders might be turned off by Palo Alto's price weakness in recent months, Grieb's call could reflect a sense on Wall Street that its growth prospects are becoming too cheap to pass up.

Now what: According to Nomura, Palo Alto's risk/reward trade-off is rather attractive at this point. "We continue to view Palo Alto as one of the best positioned vendors in the Network Security space," Grieb said. "The company was highlighted as a top share gainer in our CSO Survey and in our recent Reseller Survey (published in April) 58% of Palo Alto resellers were ahead of plan, with just 8% behind plan. Finally, Palo Alto has also shown itself to be a fast follower (critical for Network Security companies), quickly bringing to market WildFire, which competes with FireEye in the important APT Protection market." When you couple that upbeat outlook with Palo Alto's cash-rich balance sheet, it's tough to disagree with Nomura's bullishness. 

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Brian Pacampara has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Palo Alto Networks. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

A Financial Plan on an Index Card

Keeping it simple.

Aug 7, 2015 at 11:26AM

Two years ago, University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack wrote his entire financial plan on an index card.

It blew up. People loved the idea. Financial advice is often intentionally complicated. Obscurity lets advisors charge higher fees. But the most important parts are painfully simple. Here's how Pollack put it:

The card came out of chat I had regarding what I view as the financial industry's basic dilemma: The best investment advice fits on an index card. A commenter asked for the actual index card. Although I was originally speaking in metaphor, I grabbed a pen and one of my daughter's note cards, scribbled this out in maybe three minutes, snapped a picture with my iPhone, and the rest was history.

More advisors and investors caught onto the idea and started writing their own financial plans on a single index card.

I love the exercise, because it makes you think about what's important and forces you to be succinct.

So, here's my index-card financial plan:


Everything else is details. 

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