Palo Alto Networks (PANW) Raised to Strong-Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday. The firm presently has a $181.00 target price on the network technology company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 15.13% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Palo Alto Networks offers network security solutions to enterprises, service providers and government entities worldwide. Of late, estimates have remained stable for the company. We remain encouraged by Palo Alto Network’s healthy demand environment, new product launches and increasing adoption of its next-generation security platforms. Revenue growth seems to be steady, aided by strength across all its geographical regions and business segments. Also, customer wins coupled with expansion of the existing customer base are the other positives. We believe that the company’s acquisitions synergies will also boost revenues, going forward. Also, the strategic partnerships with the likes of VMware, Splunk and Citrix, will continue to bring in customers for Palo Alto thereby boosting the top line. Nonetheless, a volatile spending environment and competition from peers remain concerns.”

PANW has been the topic of several other reports. Jefferies Group reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $183.00 price target (up from $168.00) on shares of Palo Alto Networks in a research report on Tuesday, November 21st. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated an “overweight” rating and set a $173.00 price target (up from $155.00) on shares of Palo Alto Networks in a research report on Tuesday, November 21st. Royal Bank of Canada lifted their price target on Palo Alto Networks from $159.00 to $175.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 21st. Maxim Group reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $195.00 price target (up from $168.00) on shares of Palo Alto Networks in a research report on Thursday, September 28th. Finally, Evercore ISI upgraded Palo Alto Networks from an “in-line” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $180.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Thursday. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating, thirty-two have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $166.11.

Palo Alto Networks (PANW) traded down $0.60 on Monday, reaching $157.22. The company had a trading volume of 1,043,600 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,121,554. Palo Alto Networks has a 12-month low of $107.31 and a 12-month high of $158.78. The firm has a market cap of $13,990.00, a PE ratio of -63.91 and a beta of 0.99.

Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) last posted its earnings results on Monday, November 20th. The network technology company reported $0.74 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.06. Palo Alto Networks had a negative return on equity of 15.77% and a negative net margin of 11.97%. The firm had revenue of $505.50 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $489.36 million. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.55 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 27.0% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts predict that Palo Alto Networks will post -0.37 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, CFO Kathleen Bonanno sold 2,831 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $150.68, for a total value of $426,575.08. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 38,716 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,833,726.88. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Nir Zuk sold 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $144.69, for a total value of $289,380.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 354,644 shares of company stock valued at $52,415,318. 4.80% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in Palo Alto Networks by 3.6% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 7,262,069 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $971,738,000 after purchasing an additional 254,836 shares during the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. boosted its position in Palo Alto Networks by 36.0% during the third quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 2,376,862 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $342,506,000 after purchasing an additional 629,523 shares during the last quarter. Alyeska Investment Group L.P. boosted its position in Palo Alto Networks by 7.2% during the third quarter. Alyeska Investment Group L.P. now owns 1,387,411 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $199,926,000 after purchasing an additional 92,622 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp boosted its position in Palo Alto Networks by 109.9% during the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 1,142,533 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $152,883,000 after purchasing an additional 598,115 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Ameriprise Financial Inc. boosted its position in Palo Alto Networks by 35.5% during the third quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 1,068,289 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $153,798,000 after purchasing an additional 279,602 shares during the last quarter. 79.90% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Palo Alto Networks Company Profile

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.

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