Palo Alto Networks, Inc. (PANW) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Palo Alto Networks, Inc. (NYSE:PANW) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has $164.00 price target on the network technology company’s stock.

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 PANW. Evercore ISI set a $140.00 price objective on Palo Alto Networks and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Saturday, June 17th. TheStreet raised Palo Alto Networks from a d+ rating to a c- rating in a research report on Friday, June 16th. ValuEngine raised Palo Alto Networks from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 27th. Vetr raised Palo Alto Networks from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $140.90 price objective on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, June 27th. Finally, Northland Securities began coverage on Palo Alto Networks in a research report on Thursday, June 29th. They set an outperform rating and a $175.00 price objective on the stock. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating and thirty-one have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Palo Alto Networks has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $160.33.

Shares of Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) traded up 1.19% on Tuesday, reaching $150.01. The company had a trading volume of 301,316 shares. Palo Alto Networks has a 1-year low of $107.31 and a 1-year high of $165.69. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $141.66 and its 200-day moving average price is $129.49. The stock’s market capitalization is $13.78 billion.

Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, August 31st. The network technology company reported ($0.13) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.79 by ($0.92). The firm had revenue of $509.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $487.53 million. Palo Alto Networks had a negative net margin of 12.57% and a negative return on equity of 19.72%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 27.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.50 EPS. Equities analysts predict that Palo Alto Networks will post $3.33 EPS for the current year.

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In related news, Director Stanley J. Meresman sold 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $151.01, for a total transaction of $302,020.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Carl M. Eschenbach sold 1,572 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 approximately $524,718.81. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 254,744 shares of company stock worth $37,804,516 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 4.80% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Waldron LP boosted its holdings in shares of Palo Alto Networks by 105.2% in the 1st quarter. Waldron LP now owns 12,850 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $1,749,000 after purchasing an additional 6,587 shares during the last quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Palo Alto Networks by 9.9% in the 1st quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 240,802 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $27,134,000 after purchasing an additional 21,780 shares during the last quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Palo Alto Networks by 19.9% in the 1st quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC now owns 2,407 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $271,000 after purchasing an additional 399 shares during the last quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB boosted its holdings in shares of Palo Alto Networks by 1.2% in the 1st quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 2,552 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $288,000 after purchasing an additional 31 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Prudential Financial Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Palo Alto Networks by 83.8% in the 1st quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 5,220 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $588,000 after purchasing an additional 2,380 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 77.03% of the company’s stock.

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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Analyst Recommendations for Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW)

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