Why Arista Networks Inc. Stock Skyrocketed Today

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Arista Networks  (NYSE: ANET  ) jumped more than 20% Tuesday after several analysts initiated coverage on the stock.

So what: Going into yesterday's close, Arista Networks had already surged 45% from its June 6 IPO price of $43 per share. But today marked the end of the cloud networking specialist's 25-day post-IPO "quiet period" mandated by the SEC, which means its underwriters are now free to weigh in with their opinions on the stock.

Sure enough, no fewer than a dozen analyst firms chimed in today. Of those, at least 10 started Arista with a buy equivalent rating, with average price targets sitting around $77 per share. That still represents a modest premium to Arista's current price just below $72 per share. 

Now what: Then again, shares don't exactly look cheap at nearly 10 times trailing 12-month sales and 50 times next year's expected earnings. But Arista's growth is impressive, most recently with first-quarter sales jumping 91% year over year to $117 million. If Arista can maintain that growth while ultimately translating it to sustained profitability over the long term, I see no reason it can't continue rewarding patient investors.

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