NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- With a trailing price-to-earnings ratio of negative 103, according to Nasdaq.com, the big question regarding Palo Alto Networks (PANW) has always been if it can ever grow into its valuation.
Growth has never been an issue for Palo Alto, which sells firewalls that prevent data breaches and block malware and viruses from corporate networks -- a very hot issue nowadays.
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The stock has been hot, too. Investors sent the stock soaring Thursday to a new all-time high of $102.45, up almost 4%. The stock, which closed at $100, is now up almost 75% on the year to date.
Investors want to know if it's time to secure some profits. Maybe not. With reported revenue growth that's still accelerating at a high rate, in the next 12 to 18 months these shares can still reach $120 or a 21% premium from current levels.
With data breaches hurting retail giants Target (TGT) and most recently Home Depot (HD) , corporate information is under attack. Rivals like Cisco (CSCO) , which just picked off anti-hacking software giant SourceFire (FIRE) , is aware the growth opportunity. Cisco isn't just going to just roll over and cede the market.
Still, despite the emergence of others like Fortinet (FTNT) and Check Point Software (CHKP) , which are both trading at near 52-week highs, Palo Alto's management assured its shareholders their faith in the eight-year-old enterprise security company was well placed. By delivering fourth-quarter results that showed sustained accelerated growth and providing even better outlook, Palo Alto made good on its promise.