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Palo Alto Networks (PANW) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know

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Palo Alto Networks (PANW - Free Report) closed at $507.85 in the latest trading session, marking a +0.97% move from the prior day. The stock outpaced the S&P 500's daily gain of 0.75%.

Coming into today, shares of the security software maker had gained 3.73% in the past month. In that same time, the Computer and Technology sector lost 2.38%, while the S&P 500 lost 0.05%.

Investors will be hoping for strength from PANW as it approaches its next earnings release. On that day, PANW is projected to report earnings of $1.57 per share, which would represent a year-over-year decline of 3.09%. Meanwhile, our latest consensus estimate is calling for revenue of $1.2 billion, up 27.2% from the prior-year quarter.

Looking at the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates suggest analysts are expecting earnings of $7.24 per share and revenue of $5.31 billion. These totals would mark changes of +17.92% and +24.68%, respectively, from last year.

Any recent changes to analyst estimates for PANW should also be noted by investors. These recent revisions tend to reflect the evolving nature of short-term business trends. As such, positive estimate revisions reflect analyst optimism about the company's business and profitability.

Our research shows that these estimate changes are directly correlated with near-term stock prices. We developed the Zacks Rank to capitalize on this phenomenon. Our system takes these estimate changes into account and delivers a clear, actionable rating model.

Ranging from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), the Zacks Rank system has a proven, outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks returning an average of +25% annually since 1988. Within the past 30 days, our consensus EPS projection remained stagnant. PANW is currently a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Valuation is also important, so investors should note that PANW has a Forward P/E ratio of 69.5 right now. This represents a premium compared to its industry's average Forward P/E of 44.06.

We can also see that PANW currently has a PEG ratio of 2.71. This popular metric is similar to the widely-known P/E ratio, with the difference being that the PEG ratio also takes into account the company's expected earnings growth rate. The Security was holding an average PEG ratio of 2.65 at yesterday's closing price.

The Security industry is part of the Computer and Technology sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 108, which puts it in the top 43% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our individual industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.

Be sure to follow all of these stock-moving metrics, and many more, on Zacks.com.


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