Today, shareholders of Chinese Internet giant Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU) and cyber security firm Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW) woke up to a nice pop in the value of their shares, after both companies posted quarterly financial results, ahead of the Street’s expectations. Top analysts Gene Munster and Shaul Eyal chimed in on the earnings. Let’s take a closer look.
Baidu Inc (ADR)
Shares of Baidu jumped nearly 11% in pre-market trading Friday, after the company reported fourth-quarter earnings results that topped Wall Street expectations. In reaction, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster reiterated an Overweight rating on the stock, with a price target of $220, which implies an upside of 39% from last closing price.
Munster commented, “Baidu reported Q4 revenue 1% ahead of Street estimates and guided Q1 revenue to grow 28-32.5% local currency growth y/y excluding the impact from Qunar vs about 30% in Q4. Additionally, the company stated that it views its business as relatively insulated from the current macro in China and did not seem overly concerned about it going forward. We believe Baidu’s report and commentary on the macro may be positive for the shares today (perhaps following the way GOOG and FB performed well after similar commentary). Longer-term, our thesis remains that Baidu has proven itself in the past during investment cycles (mobile in 2013) and we expect the current investment phase in O2O could start to pay off later this year.”
According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Gene Munster has a yearly average return of 16.3% and a 55% success rate. Munster has a 33.6% average return when recommending BIDU, and is ranked #9 out of 3675 analysts.
Out of the 18 analysts polled by TipRanks, 12 rate Baidu stock a Buy, while 6 rate the stock a Hold. With a return potential of 34%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $211.50.
Palo Alto Networks Inc
Oppenheimer analyst Shaul Eyal reiterated an Outperform rating on shares of Palo Alto Networks, with a price target of $177, after the company reported strong fiscal second-quarter results, exceeding Street’s estimates across the board. Shares of Palo Alto reacted to the results, rising 7.5% in pre-market trading.
Eyal commented, “For the 16th quarter in a row (since F2Q12), PANW posted record revenues (+53.8% YoY) with billings growth (+62.3%), defying doubts about a decelerating global security spending. Our bullish stance on PANW is further supported by: 1) adoption of subscription based services (Wildfire, Traps, Autofocus) driving recurring revenue; 2) continued margin expansion and the goal to exit 2016 operating margins up 400 to 500 bps YoY; and 3) increasing large transactions with mid-high end appliances and with larger customers. We are raising our FY16 revenue estimate while lowering our EPS estimate due to strong subscriptions demand which incurs 100% in-period commission expense.”
The analyst concluded, “PANW continues to be a disruptor in the security arena, and current results are putting to bed any questionable macroeconomic uncertainties regarding security spending.”
According to TipRanks.com, analyst Shaul Eyal has a yearly average return of 7.9% and a 56% success rate. Eyal has a 18.9% average return when recommending PANW, and is ranked #105 out of 3675 analysts.