Palo Alto Networks Slips Up in Q4

Palo Alto Networks Inc. (NYSE: PANW) reported fiscal fourth-quarter financial results after markets closed Wednesday. The firm said that it had $1.47 in earnings per share (EPS) and $805.8 million in revenue, compared with consensus estimates that called for $1.42 in EPS and $802.42 million in revenue. The same period of last year reportedly had $1.34 in EPS and $658.1 million in revenue.

Overall revenues grew 22% year over year. Product revenues grew 12% to $305.7 million, while subscription and support revenues grew 29% to $500.1 million. During the quarter, billings grew 22% year over year to $1.1 billion.

The company did not issue any guidance for the fiscal first quarter. However, analysts are calling for $1.33 in EPS and $789.3 million in revenue.

Nikesh Arora, board chair and chief executive, commented:

We had a strong fourth quarter, surpassing a billion dollars in billings within the quarter for the first time, and achieving approximately 180% year-over-year growth in our newer Prisma and Cortex offerings. This year we acquired and released important new technologies and built a robust go-to-market framework for driving their success in the market. It’s gratifying to see all the team’s hard work translate into strong market results. The addition of our proposed acquisition announced today, Zingbox, Inc., a differentiated player in IoT security, continues our strategy of extending our platforms. Zingbox will add to the capabilities of our Next-Generation Firewall by offering a first-of-its kind subscription that will make it easier for organizations to protect IoT devices from attackers. It will also be available as a service on our Cortex platform.

Shares of Palo Alto Networks closed Wednesday at $200.49, in a 52-week range of $160.08 to $260.63. The consensus price target is $263.30. Following the announcement, the stock was down 3% at $194.00 in the after-hours session.