Analysts Unilaterally Raising Targets and Upside Expectations for Palo Alto Networks

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Palo Alto Networks Inc. (NYSE: PANW) was definitely one of the big technology earnings season winners. After all, it seems folly to believe that companies would be cheap when it comes to data security and network security at this time.

24/7 Wall St. has already covered the earnings analysis for Palo Alto Networks, but what has been stronger than strong is the field of positive analyst calls. We have seen that about 15 analysts following Palo Alto Networks have raised their price targets.

As a reminder, Palo Alto announced on February 19 that the company entered into an agreement to acquire privately held Demisto to increase the Security Orchestration, Automation and Response market. That was said to be a $560 million purchase price in cash and stock.

Merrill Lynch reiterated its Buy rating and raised its price objective to $307 from $260. The firm talked up Palo Alto’s acquisitions and new products continuing to be focused on the cloud, automation, and artificial intelligence/machine learning.

Piper Jaffray raised its target price up to $300 from $230 and called this one of the strongest quarters in 3 years and that the company has hardly scratched the surface of the refresh cycle.

Wedbush Securities referred to the quarter as a monster beat-and-raise and pointed to the company’s acceleration in total billings while it builds out its cloud platform and is winning from a firewall refresh cycle.

Other analyst calls on Palo Alto Networks have also been featured below.

BMO Capital Markets reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its target to $285 from $240.

Citigroup reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $279 from $234.

Deutsche Bank reiterated its Buy rating and raised its price target to $305 from $265.

KeyBanc Capital markets reiterated its Overweight rating and raised its target to $280 from $250.

Maxim Group reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $304 from $280.

Morgan Stanley reiterated its Overweight rating and raised its target to $290 from $265.

Wells Fargo reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its target to $325 from $275.

There were two less positive calls seen below, although both firms raised their target prices as well.

CFRA (S&P Global) maintained its Hold rating but raised its target to $265 from $240.

Credit Suisse reiterated its Underperform rating, but the firm did raise its target price to $190 from $160.

Shares of Palo Alto Networks were last seen up 8.3% at $255.07, and its shares put in a new high of $260.63 earlier in the day. Palo Alto now has a $24 billion market cap.

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