Palo Alto Networks, Inc. (PANW) Upgraded to Buy by 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 report released on Friday morning. They currently have $174.00 price objective on the network technology company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Palo Alto Networks offers network security solutions to enterprises, service providers and government entities worldwide. The stock has outperformed the broader IT Services industry last year. 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 will boost revenues, going forward. Nonetheless, a volatile spending environment and competition from Cisco Systems and Check Point Software Technologies remain concerns.”

A number of other research analysts have also commented on the company. Wunderlich reissued a buy rating and set a $190.00 price target on shares of Palo Alto Networks in a report on Wednesday, February 8th. Vetr lowered Palo Alto Networks from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $151.73 price target on the stock. in a report on Tuesday, January 31st. Jefferies Group LLC started coverage on Palo Alto Networks in a report on Wednesday, January 18th. They set a hold rating and a $153.00 target price on the stock. Wells Fargo & Company started coverage on Palo Alto Networks in a report on Wednesday, January 11th. They set an outperform rating on the stock. Finally, BMO Capital Markets started coverage on Palo Alto Networks in a report on Thursday, January 5th. They set a market perform rating and a $150.00 target price on the stock. Ten investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirty-two have issued a buy rating to the stock. Palo Alto Networks currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $171.43.

Analyst Recommendations for Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW)

Shares of Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) traded up 0.02% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $155.32. 148,763 shares of the stock traded hands. The stock’s market cap is $14.24 billion. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $139.78 and a 200 day moving average of $142.34. Palo Alto Networks has a one year low of $114.64 and a one year high of $165.69.

Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Monday, November 21st. The network technology company reported $0.55 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.52 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $398.10 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $400.20 million. Palo Alto Networks had a negative return on equity of 35.75% and a negative net margin of 16.83%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 34.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.35 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that Palo Alto Networks will post $2.78 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, CEO Mark D. Mclaughlin sold 26,566 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $127.32, for a total value of $3,382,383.12. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 568,760 shares in the company, valued at $72,414,523.20. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Nir Zuk sold 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, January 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $134.02, for a total value of $268,040.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 1,836,694 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $246,153,729.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 57,415 shares of company stock valued at $7,527,930. 4.80% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Ayalon Holdings Ltd. increased its stake in shares of Palo Alto Networks by 110.0% in the second quarter. Ayalon Holdings Ltd. now owns 840 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $102,000 after buying an additional 440 shares during the period. Toronto Dominion Bank increased its stake in shares of Palo Alto Networks by 59.3% in the third quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 774 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $123,000 after buying an additional 288 shares during the period. Amica Retiree Medical Trust acquired a new stake in shares of Palo Alto Networks during the third quarter valued at about $139,000. Wunderlich Capital Managemnt increased its stake in shares of Palo Alto Networks by 83.7% in the second quarter. Wunderlich Capital Managemnt now owns 1,159 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $142,000 after buying an additional 528 shares during the period. Finally, Winslow Evans & Crocker Inc. increased its stake in shares of Palo Alto Networks by 11.1% in the third quarter. Winslow Evans & Crocker Inc. now owns 904 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $144,000 after buying an additional 90 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 86.51% 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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