As the earnings season winds down, analysts are now hailing some of the last reporters, which are Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW) and Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc. (NASDAQ:ULTA). Let’s take a look and see what the analysts have to say about PANW and ULTA.
Palo Alto Networks Inc
Piper Jaffray analyst Andrew Nowinski reiterated an Overweight rating on shares of Palo Alto, while reducing the price target to $167 (from $180), after the cyber security firm reported fiscal third-quarter financial results, with guidance that failed to impress the market. Palo Alto shares are currently trading at $129.65, down $18.53 or -12.50%.
Nowinski commented, “Palo Alto reported FQ3(Apr) revenue and billings above guidance and Street estimates. However, guidance for FQ4(Jul) was slightly below Street estimates for the first time ever. Management said the uncertain macro environment and extended sales cycles are having an impact, though competition was not a factor. Based on guidance, we estimate billings growth will decelerate to ~38% in FQ4(Jul), though that was off a tough comp. Despite the slowdown, we believe Palo Alto still offers best-in-class growth, coupled with strong FCF margin.”
According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Andrew Nowinski has a yearly average return of -0.5% and a 42.5% success rate. Nowinski has a 25% average return when recommending PANW, and is ranked #2692 out of 3958 analysts.
Out of the 22 analysts polled by TipRanks (in the past 3 months), 19 rate Palo Alto Networks stock a Buy, while 3 rate the stock a Hold. With a return potential of nearly 45%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $188.45.
Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc.
Nomura analyst Simeon Siegel reiterated a Buy rating on shares of Ulta Salon, and raised the price target to $244 (from $215), after the cosmetics company announced first quarter earnings, with better than expected sales growth and guidance.
Siegel noted, “In an envt where modestly positive comps are hailed, 15% lies on another plane. ULTA continues to gain awareness and share in a growing pie, amid a category that has been generally ecomm defensible with a tight control on distribution. Comps and GMs posted meaningful upside, which we expect will persist and although valuation is clearly the pushback, it has been so for the past $100 of share price.”
“All in, it is the best guider within our group, speaking to mgmt’s ability to forecast the business; based on our analysis of historical practices, we expect the guide to prove conservative yet again with further upside to estimates. For perspective, ULTA typically guides EPS $0.03 above the St and goes on to beat by $0.05. On sales, they typically guide 1% above the St, and then beat the comp guide by ~240bps,” the analyst added.
According to TipRanks.com, analyst Simeon Siegel has a yearly average return of -7% and a 29% success rate. Siegel has a 22% average return when recommending ULTA, and is ranked #3507 out of 3958 analysts.