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Palo Alto Networks (PANW) Stock Moves -1.97%: What You Should Know

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Palo Alto Networks (PANW - Free Report) closed at $179.60 in the latest trading session, marking a -1.97% move from the prior day. This change was narrower than the S&P 500's 2.48% loss on the day. Meanwhile, the Dow lost 2.83%, and the Nasdaq, a tech-heavy index, lost 3.04%.

Coming into today, shares of the security software maker had gained 3.36% in the past month. In that same time, the Computer and Technology sector lost 7.27%, while the S&P 500 lost 8.82%.

PANW will be looking to display strength as it nears its next earnings release, which is expected to be February 25, 2019. In that report, analysts expect PANW to post earnings of $1.22 per share. This would mark year-over-year growth of 41.86%. Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenue is projecting net sales of $682.55 million, up 25.84% from the year-ago period.

PANW's full-year Zacks Consensus Estimates are calling for earnings of $5.19 per share and revenue of $2.79 billion. These results would represent year-over-year changes of +30.08% and +22.8%, respectively.

Any recent changes to analyst estimates for PANW should also be noted by investors. Recent revisions tend to reflect the latest near-term business trends. With this in mind, we can consider positive estimate revisions a sign of optimism about the company's business outlook.

Research indicates that these estimate revisions are directly correlated with near-term share price momentum. 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.

The Zacks Rank system ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell). It has a remarkable, outside-audited track record of success, with #1 stocks delivering an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Within the past 30 days, our consensus EPS projection remained stagnant. PANW is currently a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Valuation is also important, so investors should note that PANW has a Forward P/E ratio of 35.29 right now. For comparison, its industry has an average Forward P/E of 39.53, which means PANW is trading at a discount to the group.

We can also see that PANW currently has a PEG ratio of 1.51. This metric is used similarly to the famous P/E ratio, but the PEG ratio also takes into account the stock's expected earnings growth rate. PANW's industry had an average PEG ratio of 2.08 as of yesterday's close.

The Security industry is part of the Computer and Technology sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 91, putting it in the top 36% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our 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.

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