Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW) last night blew away expectations for its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings, posting revenue of $283.9 million, compared to the Street’s estimate of $256.4 million. Pro forma EPS came in at $0.28, above the Street’s $0.25 estimate due to the strong top-line performance and good margins. Palo Alto Networks shares reacted to the news, rising 7.59% to $177.70 as of 10:58AM EDT.
In response, FBR Capital analyst Daniel Ives reiterated an Outperform rating on PANW, while raising the price target to $200 (from $175), which represents a potential upside of 14% from where the stock is currently trading.
Ives wrote, “The company’s product cycle and massive cybersecurity secular tailwinds are catalyzing accelerating growth in the field and deal flow, in our view, as enterprises and governments need next-generation security protection given the lack of sufficient defense capabilities in legacy systems. As evidenced this quarter, Palo Alto stands to benefit further through the addition of new customers as well as capitalizing on its underpenetrated installed base as these customers continue to move upstream in their purchases with healthy cybersecurity spending, a strong subscription business, and a broader product footprint adding tailwinds.”
“We believe last night’s Cespedeslike performance and healthy outlook should give the Street further confidence this morning around Palo Alto’s golden market opportunity for the coming 12 to 18 months as the company is firing on all cylinders heading into FY16,” the analyst added.
According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Daniel Ives has a total average return of 3.2% and a 42.3% success rate. Ives has a 35.9% average return when recommending PANW, and is ranked #1124 out of 3752 analysts.