Sphera Funds Management LTD. Acquires Shares of 24,885 Palo Alto Networks Inc (PANW)

Sphera Funds Management LTD. acquired a new position in shares of Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW) in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm acquired 24,885 shares of the network technology company’s stock, valued at approximately $17,514,000. Palo Alto Networks comprises approximately 2.0% of Sphera Funds Management LTD.’s holdings, making the stock its 11th largest holding.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Bruderman Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in Palo Alto Networks during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $38,000. Karp Capital Management Corp bought a new position in Palo Alto Networks during the 4th quarter valued at about $40,000. Captrust Financial Advisors lifted its stake in Palo Alto Networks by 278.8% during the 4th quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors now owns 250 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $47,000 after acquiring an additional 184 shares during the period. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. lifted its stake in Palo Alto Networks by 26.6% during the 4th quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. now owns 262 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $49,000 after acquiring an additional 55 shares during the period. Finally, PRW Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in Palo Alto Networks during the 4th quarter valued at about $52,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 78.89% of the company’s stock.

PANW traded up $0.21 during trading on Thursday, reaching $242.96. 341,427 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,703,793. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.31, a current ratio of 1.87 and a quick ratio of 1.87. Palo Alto Networks Inc has a 12-month low of $160.08 and a 12-month high of $260.63. The firm has a market cap of $22.75 billion, a P/E ratio of -441.74, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 12.48 and a beta of 0.86.

Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 26th. The network technology company reported $1.51 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.22 by $0.29. Palo Alto Networks had a negative net margin of 3.47% and a positive return on equity of 4.69%. The business had revenue of $711.00 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $682.32 million. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.97 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 30.3% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Palo Alto Networks Inc will post 0.82 earnings per share for the current year.

Several equities research analysts have recently commented on the stock. Oppenheimer upped their price target on shares of Palo Alto Networks from $270.00 to $285.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 27th. Dougherty & Co reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $300.00 price target (up previously from $260.00) on shares of Palo Alto Networks in a research report on Wednesday, February 27th. Monness Crespi & Hardt reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $280.00 price target (up previously from $235.00) on shares of Palo Alto Networks in a research report on Wednesday, February 27th. KeyCorp upped their price target on shares of Palo Alto Networks from $250.00 to $280.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 27th. Finally, Morgan Stanley upped their price target on shares of Palo Alto Networks from $266.00 to $290.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 27th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating, twenty-eight have issued a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $267.37.

In other news, CAO Jean Compeau sold 1,701 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $235.37, for a total transaction of $400,364.37. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief accounting officer now directly owns 23,836 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,610,279.32. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Lee Klarich sold 7,500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $241.11, for a total value of $1,808,325.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 310,620 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $74,893,588.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 210,652 shares of company stock valued at $45,891,526. Insiders own 3.10% of the company’s stock.

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Palo Alto Networks Company Profile

Palo Alto Networks, Inc provides security platform solutions worldwide. The company provides firewall appliances and software; Panorama, a security management solution for the control of appliances deployed on an end-customer's network as a virtual or a physical appliance; and Virtual System Upgrades, which are available as extensions to the virtual system capacity that ships with physical appliances.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW)

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