The Palo Alto Networks, Inc. (PANW) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”, Report finds

According to Zacks, “Palo Alto Networks offers network security solutions to enterprises, service providers and government entities worldwide. The stock has outperformed the broader IT Services industry last year. Revenue growth seems to be steady, aided by strength across all its geographical regions and business segments. Also, customer wins coupled with expansion of the existing customer base are the other positives. We believe that the company’s product refreshes will boost revenues, going forward. Nonetheless, a volatile spending environment and competition from Cisco Systems and Check Point Software Technologies remain concerns.”

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Palo Alto Networks, Inc. (NYSE:PANW) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Monday morning.

A number of other equities analysts have also weighed in on PANW. Royal Bank Of Canada lowered their price objective on shares of Palo Alto Networks from $175.00 to $170.00 and set an outperform rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, November 22nd. RBC Capital Markets lowered their price objective on shares of Palo Alto Networks from $175.00 to $170.00 and set an outperform rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, November 22nd. BTIG Research reiterated a buy rating and issued a $190.00 price objective on shares of Palo Alto Networks in a research report on Tuesday, November 22nd. Barclays PLC lowered their price objective on shares of Palo Alto Networks from $200.00 to $175.00 and set an overweight rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, November 22nd. Finally, JMP Securities decreased their target price on shares of Palo Alto Networks from $180.00 to $175.00 and set a market outperform rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, November 22nd. Eleven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirty-one have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $171.43.

Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) traded up 0.65% during midday trading on Monday, hitting $156.30. 478,639 shares of the stock traded hands. The firm’s market cap is $14.33 billion. Palo Alto Networks has a 12-month low of $114.64 and a 12-month high of $165.69. The company’s 50-day moving average is $139.78 and its 200 day moving average is $142.34.

Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Monday, November 21st. The network technology company reported $0.55 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.52 by $0.03. Palo Alto Networks had a negative net margin of 16.83% and a negative return on equity of 35.75%. The firm had revenue of $398.10 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $400.20 million. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.35 EPS. Palo Alto Networks’s quarterly revenue was up 34.0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts anticipate that Palo Alto Networks will post $2.78 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, President Mark Anderson sold 17,945 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $139.56, for a total transaction of $2,504,404.20. Following the sale, the president now directly owns 269,763 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $37,648,124.28. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Mark D. Mclaughlin sold 26,566 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $127.32, for a total value of $3,382,383.12. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 568,760 shares in the company, valued at $72,414,523.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 57,415 shares of company stock valued at $7,527,930. Company insiders own 4.80% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD raised its stake in Palo Alto Networks by 30.4% in the third quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 4,871,628 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $776,196,000 after buying an additional 1,137,120 shares in the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. raised its stake in Palo Alto Networks by 122.1% in the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 2,037,537 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $249,884,000 after buying an additional 1,120,097 shares in the last quarter. Jennison Associates LLC raised its stake in Palo Alto Networks by 11.4% in the third quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 5,312,533 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $846,446,000 after buying an additional 543,980 shares in the last quarter. Criterion Capital Management LLC raised its stake in Palo Alto Networks by 374.5% in the second quarter. Criterion Capital Management LLC now owns 610,330 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $74,851,000 after buying an additional 481,710 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board raised its stake in Palo Alto Networks by 133.8% in the third quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 603,311 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $96,126,000 after buying an additional 345,286 shares in the last quarter. 86.51% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Palo Alto Networks

Palo Alto Networks, Inc offers a next-generation security platform. The Company’s security platform consists of three elements: Next-Generation Firewall, Advanced Endpoint Protection and Threat Intelligence Cloud. Its Next-Generation Firewall delivers application, user and content visibility and control, as well as protection against network-based cyber threats integrated within the firewall through its hardware and software architecture.

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