Palo Alto Networks (PANW) Lifted to “Outperform” at William Blair

William Blair upgraded shares of Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a research note published on Monday morning, MarketBeat reports.

PANW has been the topic of a number of other research reports. BidaskClub cut Palo Alto Networks from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a report on Friday, August 11th. ValuEngine upgraded Palo Alto Networks from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Saturday, August 12th. Imperial Capital reiterated an outperform rating and set a $137.00 price objective on shares of Palo Alto Networks in a research report on Friday, August 18th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $146.00 price objective on Palo Alto Networks and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Friday, August 25th. Finally, Oppenheimer reiterated an outperform rating and set a $173.00 price objective on shares of Palo Alto Networks in a research report on Monday, August 28th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and thirty-three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Palo Alto Networks presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $162.84.

Shares of Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) opened at $141.37 on Monday. Palo Alto Networks has a 1-year low of $107.31 and a 1-year high of $157.65.

Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) last announced its earnings results on Monday, November 20th. The network technology company reported $0.74 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.68 by $0.06. The firm had revenue of $505.50 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $489.36 million. Palo Alto Networks had a negative return on equity of 15.77% and a negative net margin of 11.97%. The business’s revenue was up 27.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.55 EPS. equities analysts anticipate that Palo Alto Networks will post -0.37 EPS for the current year.

In related news, President Mark Anderson sold 15,614 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, December 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $144.16, for a total transaction of $2,250,914.24. Following the sale, the president now directly owns 186,413 shares in the company, valued at $26,873,298.08. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Carl M. Eschenbach sold 1,572 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $144.99, for a total transaction of $227,924.28. Following the sale, the director now owns 3,619 shares in the company, valued at $524,718.81. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 346,785 shares of company stock valued at $51,471,366 over the last quarter. 4.80% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Palo Alto Networks by 3.6% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 7,262,069 shares of the network technology company’s stock worth $971,738,000 after buying an additional 254,836 shares during the period. American Century Companies Inc. boosted its holdings in Palo Alto Networks by 36.0% in the 3rd quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 2,376,862 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $342,506,000 after purchasing an additional 629,523 shares during the period. CI Global Investments Inc. boosted its holdings in Palo Alto Networks by 2.4% in the 2nd quarter. CI Global Investments Inc. now owns 1,617,837 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $216,483,000 after purchasing an additional 37,597 shares during the period. Alyeska Investment Group L.P. boosted its holdings in Palo Alto Networks by 7.2% in the 3rd quarter. Alyeska Investment Group L.P. now owns 1,387,411 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $199,926,000 after purchasing an additional 92,622 shares during the period. Finally, Northern Trust Corp boosted its holdings in Palo Alto Networks by 109.9% in the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 1,142,533 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $152,883,000 after purchasing an additional 598,115 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 79.98% of the company’s stock.

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Palo Alto Networks Company Profile

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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