Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW) released fiscal third quarter 2015 financial results on May 27. The network security company posted revenue and earnings per share ahead of analysts’ estimates but reported widened losses year-over-year.
The company posted record quarterly revenue of $234.2 million, beating the analyst consensus of $221 million and marking a 55% year-over-year increase. CFO Steffan Tomlinson noted that the revenue growth was driven by “new customer acquisition and expansion in existing accounts, resulting in substantial growth across all three components of our business: product, recurring subscription and support.” Tomlinson continued, “At the same time we continued to realize the leverage inherent in our ramping hybrid-SaaS model, delivering sequential and year-over-year expansion of non-GAAP operating margin, non-GAAP earnings per share, and cash flow from operations.”
PANW posted Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share of $0.23, beating the analyst estimate of $0.20. However, Palo Alto Networks posted GAAP net loss of $45.9 million compared to a loss of $146.6 million in the same quarter of last year.
Looking forward, Palo Network Networks expects to post fourth quarter revenue between $252 million and $256 million, which would mark year-over-year growth between 41% and 44%. The company expects to post diluted non-GAAP earnings per share between $0.24 and $0.25.
Palo Alto Networks also announced the acquisition of Cirrosecure during its third quarter conference call. The platform will provide additional security for SaaS applications and PANW expects it will be available in the second half of 2015.
Analysts weighed in following PANW’s earnings report.
Daniel Ives of FBR Capital maintained his Outperform rating on the stock and raised his price target from $165 to $175 after the company released earnings. Ives attributed the company’s “rock solid quarter” to PANW’s “product cycle and massive cybersecurity secular tailwinds.” Ives continues, “Enterprises and governments need next-generation security protection given the lack of sufficient defense capabilities in legacy systems.” PANW’s “unique end-to-end advanced security platform” has been gaining momentum and helping “boost top-line billings strength.” Overall, Ives believes that PANW’s strong earnings results “should give the Street further confidence around Palo Alto’s fundamentals with [SaaS application security] also adding more upsell/cross-sell opportunities for FY16 and beyond.”
Daniel Ives has rated Palo Alto Networks 13 times since December 2012, earning a 100% success rate recommending the stock with a +40.4% average return per rating. Ives has a 72% overall success rate recommending stocks with a +9.8% average return per rating.
Separately, Shaul Eyal of Oppenheimer also maintained an Outperform rating on PANW and raised his price target from $175 to $180 following the company’s earnings release. After commending Palo Alto Networks for their quarterly performance, Eyal highlights several factors that remain “powerful drivers:” “1) Continued acceptance of its high-end appliances… 2) Stellar growth in recurring subscription revenue (contributing to better margins), 3) Upward revised guidance, 4) Continued scaling of the business supported by its commitment to exit FY16 with operating margins in the low-20% area.”
Shaul Eyal has rated PANW 15 times since June 2013, earning a 100% success rate recommending the stock with a +44.3% average return per rating. Overall, Eyal has a 78% success rate recommending stocks with a +19.9% average return per rating.
On average, the top analyst consensus for Palo Alto Networks on TipRanks is Strong Buy.