Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Palo Alto Networks, Inc. (NYSE:PANW) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Wednesday morning.
According to Zacks, “Palo Alto allows firms, service providers and government bodies to impose tighter security measures through its network security platform. Revenue growth seems to be steady, aided by strength across all its geographical regions and business segments. Also, customer wins coupled with expansion of the existing customer base are the other positives. We believe that the company’s product refreshes and acquisitions synergies will boost revenues, going forward. Also, the strategic partnerships with the likes of VMware, Splunk and Citrix, will continue to bring in customers for Palo Alto thereby boosting the top line. Notably, the stock has outperformed the industry over the last six months. Nonethess, a volatile spending environment and competition from Cisco Systems and Check Point Software Technologies remain concerns.”
A number of other analysts have also weighed in on the stock. Morgan Stanley raised shares of Palo Alto Networks from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating and raised their price target for the company from $150.00 to $185.00 in a report on Tuesday, October 10th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Palo Alto Networks from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, July 6th. William Blair reissued a market perform rating on shares of Palo Alto Networks in a report on Tuesday, September 5th. Dougherty & Co reissued a buy rating and issued a $165.00 price target (up previously from $155.00) on shares of Palo Alto Networks in a report on Tuesday, September 5th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada raised their price target on shares of Palo Alto Networks from $145.00 to $159.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a report on Friday, September 1st. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating and thirty have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $160.33.
Shares of Palo Alto Networks (NYSE PANW) opened at $146.36 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69, a quick ratio of 1.65 and a current ratio of 1.65. Palo Alto Networks has a fifty-two week low of $107.31 and a fifty-two week high of $165.69.
Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 31st. The network technology company reported ($0.13) earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.79 by ($0.92). The firm had revenue of $509.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $487.53 million. Palo Alto Networks had a negative return on equity of 19.72% and a negative net margin of 12.57%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 27.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.50 EPS. equities analysts expect that Palo Alto Networks will post -0.49 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
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In related news, Director Carl M. Eschenbach sold 1,572 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $144.99, for a total value of $227,924.28. Following the transaction, the director now owns 3,619 shares in the company, valued at approximately $524,718.81. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, President Mark Anderson sold 44,429 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $143.10, for a total transaction of $6,357,789.90. Following the completion of the transaction, the president now owns 176,290 shares in the company, valued at approximately $25,227,099. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 256,744 shares of company stock worth $38,093,896 over the last 90 days. 4.80% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Endurance Wealth Management Inc. grew its stake in Palo Alto Networks by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Endurance Wealth Management Inc. now owns 3,610 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $483,000 after buying an additional 11 shares during the last quarter. NEXT Financial Group Inc boosted its holdings in Palo Alto Networks by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. NEXT Financial Group Inc now owns 4,969 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $665,000 after purchasing an additional 19 shares during the period. Capstone Asset Management Co. boosted its holdings in Palo Alto Networks by 1.3% in the 2nd quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 2,284 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $306,000 after purchasing an additional 30 shares during the period. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado boosted its holdings in Palo Alto Networks by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado now owns 16,971 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $2,271,000 after purchasing an additional 43 shares during the period. Finally, WESPAC Advisors SoCal LLC boosted its holdings in Palo Alto Networks by 2.4% in the 2nd quarter. WESPAC Advisors SoCal LLC now owns 2,125 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $284,000 after purchasing an additional 50 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 76.89% of the company’s stock.
About Palo Alto Networks
Palo Alto Networks, Inc offers a next-generation security platform. The Company’s security platform consists of three elements: Next-Generation Firewall, Advanced Endpoint Protection and Threat Intelligence Cloud. Its Next-Generation Firewall delivers application, user and content visibility and control, as well as protection against network-based cyber threats integrated within the firewall through its hardware and software architecture.
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