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Palo Alto Networks: 2013 Is Company's Big Year

Even Palo Alto's fiscal first-quarter earnings blowout last month did relatively little for the stock, as early investors moved away from the security specialist.

Clearly, though, Palo Alto is growing its business, registering 50% year-over-year revenue growth during the quarter. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based firm also expanded its customer base to more than 10,000 customers.

"In its last report, PANW traded off after a good quarter amid very high expectations," wrote Baird Equity Research. "While one of the richer valuations in our coverage universe, we believe PANW will benefit from being one of the few, high-quality, secular growth stories in our space, which we would want to own particularly as the macro environment improves."

Set against this backdrop, there has even been speculation that Palo Alto would make an attractive acquisition target. Baird, for example, cites the company as one of its top M&A picks for 2013.

In a recent column, TheStreet contributor Richard Saintvilus also suggested that Palo Alto would be a good fit for a tech heavyweight such as IBM (IBM - Get Report) or Cisco (CSCO - Get Report) that needs to bolster its arsenal of security products.

Palo Alto shares dipped 2.05% to $48.34 on Friday.

-- Written by James Rogers in New York.

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CSCO $25.11 0.00%
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