Palo Alto Networks (NYSE: PANW) is one of 196 publicly-traded companies in the “IT Services & Consulting” industry, but how does it weigh in compared to its peers? We will compare Palo Alto Networks to similar companies based on the strength of its institutional ownership, risk, valuation, earnings, dividends, analyst recommendations and profitability.

Risk and Volatility

Palo Alto Networks has a beta of 1.09, indicating that its share price is 9% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Palo Alto Networks’ peers have a beta of 1.27, indicating that their average share price is 27% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Palo Alto Networks and its peers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Palo Alto Networks -12.57% -19.72% -4.89%
Palo Alto Networks Competitors -20.55% -52.24% -3.81%

Institutional and Insider Ownership

77.0% of Palo Alto Networks shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 60.9% of shares of all “IT Services & Consulting” companies are owned by institutional investors. 4.8% of Palo Alto Networks shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 16.8% of shares of all “IT Services & Consulting” companies are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for Palo Alto Networks and its peers, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Palo Alto Networks 1 11 29 0 2.68
Palo Alto Networks Competitors 685 4463 7470 169 2.56

Palo Alto Networks presently has a consensus price target of $161.18, indicating a potential upside of 8.74%. As a group, “IT Services & Consulting” companies have a potential downside of 1.42%. Given Palo Alto Networks’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Palo Alto Networks is more favorable than its peers.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Palo Alto Networks and its peers revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue EBITDA Price/Earnings Ratio
Palo Alto Networks $1.76 billion -$99.10 million -60.50
Palo Alto Networks Competitors $2.12 billion $371.54 million 16.47

Palo Alto Networks’ peers have higher revenue and earnings than Palo Alto Networks. Palo Alto Networks is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than its peers, indicating that it is currently more affordable than other companies in its industry.

About Palo Alto Networks

Palo Alto Networks, Inc. offers a next-generation security platform. The Company’s security platform consists of three elements: Next-Generation Firewall, Advanced Endpoint Protection and Threat Intelligence Cloud. Its Next-Generation Firewall delivers application, user and content visibility and control, as well as protection against network-based cyber threats integrated within the firewall through its hardware and software architecture. Its Advanced Endpoint Protection prevents cyber attacks that run malicious code or exploit software vulnerabilities on a range of fixed and virtual endpoints and servers. Its Threat Intelligence Cloud provides central intelligence capabilities, security for software as a service applications and automated delivery of preventative measures against cyber attacks. Its products and services include firewall appliances, panorama, virtual system upgrades, subscription services, support and maintenance, and professional services.

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