Zacks: Brokerages Expect Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW) to Post $1.42 EPS

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Brokerages expect Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW) to announce earnings per share of $1.42 for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks. Fourteen analysts have provided estimates for Palo Alto Networks’ earnings, with the highest EPS estimate coming in at $1.44 and the lowest estimate coming in at $1.40. Palo Alto Networks reported earnings per share of $1.28 in the same quarter last year, which suggests a positive year-over-year growth rate of 10.9%. The business is scheduled to announce its next earnings report after the market closes on Wednesday, September 4th.

On average, analysts expect that Palo Alto Networks will report full year earnings of $5.40 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.38 to $5.42. For the next year, analysts expect that the business will post earnings of $6.25 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.77 to $6.79. Zacks’ earnings per share calculations are an average based on a survey of analysts that cover Palo Alto Networks.

Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, May 29th. The network technology company reported $0.11 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.17 by ($0.06). Palo Alto Networks had a negative net margin of 2.30% and a positive return on equity of 5.42%. The company had revenue of $726.60 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $704.89 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.99 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 28.0% compared to the same quarter last year.

A number of analysts recently commented on the company. Monness Crespi & Hardt reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $265.00 price target (down from $280.00) on shares of Palo Alto Networks in a research report on Thursday, May 30th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Palo Alto Networks from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, May 3rd. Jefferies Financial Group decreased their price target on Palo Alto Networks from $296.00 to $275.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, May 30th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. decreased their price target on Palo Alto Networks from $293.00 to $270.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, May 30th. Finally, JMP Securities decreased their price target on Palo Alto Networks from $270.00 to $250.00 and set a “market outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, May 30th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating, twenty-six have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $263.03.

In other Palo Alto Networks news, EVP Nir Zuk sold 12,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $226.80, for a total value of $2,721,600.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 926,861 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $210,212,074.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Mark D. Mclaughlin sold 40,000 shares of Palo Alto Networks stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $227.43, for a total value of $9,097,200.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 240,236 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $54,636,873.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 186,092 shares of company stock valued at $39,067,840 over the last three months. Company insiders own 3.10% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in PANW. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Palo Alto Networks by 2.2% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 8,343,076 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $1,699,985,000 after acquiring an additional 179,388 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Palo Alto Networks by 4.2% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,683,627 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $1,158,096,000 after acquiring an additional 230,170 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC lifted its position in shares of Palo Alto Networks by 13.2% during the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 5,074,350 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $1,033,950,000 after buying an additional 590,200 shares during the last quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC lifted its position in shares of Palo Alto Networks by 2.9% during the 1st quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 2,734,047 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $664,045,000 after buying an additional 77,503 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Morgan Stanley lifted its position in shares of Palo Alto Networks by 10.1% during the 2nd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 1,568,639 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $319,627,000 after buying an additional 144,406 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 79.51% of the company’s stock.

Shares of PANW traded down $15.34 on Friday, reaching $199.27. 4,971,900 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 884,411. The company has a current ratio of 1.86, a quick ratio of 1.86 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.97. The stock has a market cap of $20.60 billion, a PE ratio of -362.31, a PEG ratio of 7.29 and a beta of 0.90. The stock’s 50 day simple moving average is $217.08 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $225.56. Palo Alto Networks has a 52-week low of $160.08 and a 52-week high of $260.63.

Palo Alto Networks Company Profile

Palo Alto Networks, Inc provides security platform solutions worldwide. The company provides firewall appliances and software; Panorama, a security management solution for the control of appliances deployed on an end-customer's network as a virtual or a physical appliance; and Virtual System Upgrades, which are available as extensions to the virtual system capacity that ships with physical appliances.

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