Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) Cut to “Buy” at ValuEngine

Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) was downgraded by equities researchers at ValuEngine from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday, May 8th, ValuEngine reports.

Several other equities analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Palo Alto Networks from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $228.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Friday, January 18th. UBS Group raised shares of Palo Alto Networks from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $250.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, January 22nd. Robert W. Baird reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Palo Alto Networks in a research report on Wednesday, February 27th. Jefferies Financial Group reissued a “buy” rating and set a $296.00 target price on shares of Palo Alto Networks in a research report on Wednesday, February 27th. Finally, Deutsche Bank lifted their target price on shares of Palo Alto Networks from $265.00 to $305.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 27th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating, twenty-seven have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Palo Alto Networks presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $262.42.

Shares of NYSE:PANW opened at $200.14 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $20.18 billion, a P/E ratio of -363.89, a P/E/G ratio of 9.63 and a beta of 0.84. 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 has a 12-month low of $160.08 and a 12-month high of $260.63.

Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 29th. The network technology company reported $0.11 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.17 by ($0.06). The business had revenue of $726.60 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $704.89 million. Palo Alto Networks had a positive return on equity of 5.86% and a negative net margin of 2.30%. The business’s revenue was up 28.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.99 earnings per share. Analysts expect that Palo Alto Networks will post 0.96 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Carl M. Eschenbach sold 3,385 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $241.90, for a total transaction of $818,831.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 4,359 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,054,442.10. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CAO Jean Compeau sold 1,701 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $235.37, for a total transaction of $400,364.37. Following the transaction, the chief accounting officer now directly owns 23,836 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,610,279.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 242,844 shares of company stock valued at $58,586,545. Insiders own 3.10% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in PANW. Vanguard Group Inc grew its holdings in shares of Palo Alto Networks by 1.2% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 7,709,183 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $1,736,571,000 after buying an additional 94,743 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Palo Alto Networks by 4.3% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,453,457 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $1,324,534,000 after buying an additional 224,298 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC grew its holdings in shares of Palo Alto Networks by 4.2% during the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 4,484,150 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $1,089,110,000 after buying an additional 179,700 shares during the last quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC grew its holdings in shares of Palo Alto Networks by 2.9% during the first quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 2,734,047 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $664,045,000 after buying an additional 77,503 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Morgan Stanley grew its holdings in shares of Palo Alto Networks by 5.4% during the third quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 1,433,131 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $322,827,000 after buying an additional 73,391 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 81.16% of the company’s stock.

About Palo Alto Networks

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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