Sarah Roden

About the Author Sarah Roden

Sarah writes about stock market news for TipRanks. She graduated as member of Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia.

Palo Alto Networks Impresses Again with Quarterly Report

Palo Alto Networks (NYSE: PANW) posted their fiscal second quarter 2015 report on March 2nd. The cyber security company’s report topped estimates following large-scale breaches at Sony and Target that garnered media attention.

The cyber security company now has over 22,000 customers, or 6%-7% of the market share as stated by CEO Mark McLaughin on CNBC. Palo Alto Networks enjoyed a successful quarter in which they introduced new hardware and launched a global user group intended to share best security practices across a variety of industries.

In the fiscal second quarter of 2015, the cyber security company posted total revenue of $217.7 billion, beating estimates of $204 million and representing a 54% year-over-year increase from $141.1 million. The GAAP net loss per share was ($0.53) for the quarter on a diluted basis, narrowing the gap from a loss of ($0.55) from the same quarter of last year.

Looking forward, Palo Alto Networks expects to post its fiscal third quarter 2015 total revenue between $219 million and $223 million; a year-over-year increase between 45% and 48% and above the average analyst estimate of $214 million. The company also expects to post diluted non-GAAP earnings per share between $0.19 and $0.20, in-line with the average analyst estimate.

CEO Mark McLaughlin noted, “Given the increasing rate and severity of today’s highly sophisticated cyber-attacks, enterprises worldwide are turning to us to help them solve their most complex security challenges.” Additionally, CFO Steffan Tomlinson noted that about 47% of quarterly revenue came from recurring customers, allowing the company to ramp up “economies of scale [and] continue to drive leverage in the business.”

Analysts were bullish following Palo Alto’s report. According to SmarterAnalyst, Shaul Eyal of Oppenheimer reiterated an Outperform rating on PANW with a $150 price target on March 3rd. Eyal noted that the company’s quarterly report easily beat “all financial metrics across all product lines and geographies” and pointed out impressive billings growth. Eyal is bullish on the stock for many reasons, including the company’s “strong growth in appliances; strength in recurring subscription revenue; better than expected F3Q guidance; [PANW’s commitment to] exiting FY16 with operating margins in the low 20% area; [and] room to gain share in all core markets.”

Shaul Eyal has a 68% overall success rate recommending stocks with a +12.4% average return per recommendation. He has rated Palo Alto Networks 12 times since June 2013, earning an 88% success rate recommending the cyber security company with a +42.6% average return per PANW recommendation.

Separately on March 3rd, analyst Andrew Nowinski of Piper Jaffray reiterated an Overweight rating on Palo Alto Networks and raised his price target from $150 to $165. Nowinski remarked that the company beat estimates by the second largest margin in the last 8 quarters. The analyst noted, “Similar to last quarter, upside was driven by strong new customer growth (+1,500 new customers), ramping adoption of WildFire (+1,000 new customers) and solid billings (+52% y/y).” He continued, “Palo Alto is the best-positioned vendor in the space and will continue taking market share at the expense of all other vendors. Palo Alto remains our highest conviction idea.”

Andrew Nowinski has a 64% overall success rate recommending stocks and a +10.4% average return per recommendation. He has rated PANW 6 times since August 2014, earning an 83% success rate recommending the stock with a +36.4% average return per PANW recommendation.

On average, the top analyst consensus for Palo Alto Networks on TipRanks is Strong Buy.

To see more recommendations for Palo Alto Networks, visit TipRanks today.

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