How Palo Alto Networks Closed Out a Strong Q4

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When Palo Alto Networks Inc. (NYSE: PANW) reported its fiscal fourth-quarter financial results after the markets closed on Thursday, the company said that it had $1.28 in earnings per share (EPS) and $658.1 million in revenue. That compared with consensus estimates of $1.17 in EPS on revenue of $633.05 million, as well as the $0.92 per share and $509.1 million posted in the same period of last year.

During the most recent quarter, product revenue totaled $267.6 million, an increase of 26.0% year over year, while subscription and support revenue totaled $390.5 million, an increase of 31.6%. Billings totaled $868.1 million in the quarter, an increase of 29.4% from $670.8 million last year.

Looking ahead to the fiscal first quarter, the company expects to see EPS in the range of $1.04 to $1.06 and revenue between $625 million and $635 million. Consensus estimates call for $1.04 in EPS and $619.35 million in revenue.

Nikesh Arora, CEO of Palo Alto Networks, commented:

We had a strong fourth quarter, continuing our global momentum at a growth rate that outpaces our peers and the cybersecurity market. Enterprises are in the early stages of the cloud revolution. This poses new security challenges for businesses worldwide. We are becoming the strategic partner of choice to help businesses embrace the cloud and protect their digital information by reducing complexity and providing the same level of consistency, integration, and automation that we brought to network security.

Shares of Palo Alto Networks closed Thursday at $220.37, with a consensus analyst price target of $229.93 and a 52-week trading range of $135.85 to $232.88. Following the announcement, the stock was up about 6% in early trading indications Friday.