Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW) entered its fiscal fourth-quarter “against very low expectations,” in the eyes of Morgan Stanley analyst Keith Weiss. Yet, even following a mixed and disappointing earnings season for security as well as a mixed fiscal third-quarter, Weiss is not left sounding the alarm on Santa Clara’s security giant with the rest of consensus.

On the contrary, Weiss assesses the risk-reward as PANW approaches its FQ4 print and determines it to skew strongly to the upside. Weiss predicts FQ4 fundamentals have every reason to remain healthy. Furthermore, the analyst predicts the driving catalyst in the company’s favor lies with stabilization in product revenue and billings growth.

As such, Weiss believes PANW remains as a top-pick and reiterates an Overweight rating with a price target of $185, which represents a 36% increase from where the shares last closed.

Weiss explains, “With multiple drivers in the model, stable checks and conservative estimates, we think FQ4 results are well positioned to be better than feared and will highlight growth more durable than consensus expectations. We believe the mixed CQ2 earning season for security is indicative of a shift in security spending with incremental dollars more heavily accruing to the “winners”, one of which is Palo Alto. […] PANW is already trading as though top-line growth will slow to the mid-teens, which we view as unlikely.”

According to TipRanks, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, five-star analyst Keith Weiss is ranked #188 out of 4,124 analysts. Weiss upholds a 67% success rate and yields 13.2% in his yearly returns. When recommending PANW, Weiss realizes 42.8% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics demonstrate PANW as a Strong Buy. Based on 21 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 17 rate a Buy on PANW, while 4 maintain a Hold. The 12-month average price target stands at $185.00, marking a 36% upside from where the stock is currently trading.

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