Palo Alto Networks Hacks Its Way Back With Earnings

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Palo Alto Networks Inc. (NYSE: PANW) released its fiscal third-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Monday. The cybersecurity firm said that it had $0.99 in earnings per share (EPS) on $567.1 million in revenue, compared with consensus estimates that called for $0.96 in EPS and revenue of $545.68 million. The same period of last year reportedly had EPS of $0.61 and $431.8 million in revenue.

A separate announcement last week said CEO Mark McLaughlin will step down and become vice chairman effective June 6, 2018. Nikesh Arora will replace him as chief executive and board chair.

One highlight noted in the earnings report was that more than 50 companies are now actively engaged with Palo Alto Networks on the Application Framework. At its Ignite USA user conference in May, many third-party applications were demonstrated, and Palo Alto announced that the Application Framework will be production-ready for third-party applications in August 2018.

Looking ahead to the fiscal fourth quarter, the company expects to see EPS in the range of $1.15 to $1.17 and revenues between $625 million and $635 million. The consensus estimates are $1.21 in EPS and $618.12 million in revenue.

On the books, Palo Alto cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments totaled $1.62 billion at the end of the quarter, up from $1.38 billion at the end of the previous fiscal year.

CEO Mark McLaughlin commented:

We delivered strong fiscal third quarter results with record revenue, deferred revenue and billings, while continuing to capture market share at rates that far outpace the competition. Our Security Operating Platform utilizes software, the cloud and analytics to deliver increasingly better prevention through automation and ecosystem leverage, while dramatically reducing the complexity of the consumption model for customers.

Shares of Palo Alto Networks closed Friday at $209.19, with a consensus analyst price target of $205.09 and a 52-week range of $126.56 to $211.71. Following the announcement, the stock was up about 2% at $212.15 in early trading indications Monday.