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Palo Alto Networks Shares Hammered As Forecast Badly Misses Expectations

Monday, November 21, 2016 14:41
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Security software giant Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW) late Monday posted mixed first quarter results and offered a tepid outlook, sending its shares down precipitously in after-hours trading.

The Santa Clara-based company reported Q1 EPS of $0.55, which was three cents better than the average analyst estimate of $0.52. Revenues surged 34% from last year to $398.1 million, but missed Wall Street’s view of $400.38 million.

Billings for Palo Alto’s security services rose 33% from last year to $516.9 billion. That total was down significantly from the prior quarter’s year-over-year growth rate of 45%.

Looking ahead, PANW provided worse-than-expected second quarter guidance that sent its shares reeling. For the upcoming Q2, the company forecast EPS of $0.61 to $0.63 which could miss Wall Street’s $0.63 estimate. Its revenue forecast was even worse. The Palt Alto’s $426 to $432 outlook was much lower than the $439.28 million analysts were looking for.

The company optimistically commented via press release:

“Our first quarter 2017 results underscore that our Next-Generation Security Platform uniquely solves customers’ most complex security challenges,” said Mark McLaughlin, chief executive officer of Palo Alto Networks. “Our platform’s ability to provide high degrees of prevention, automation, leverage and consistent security, regardless of wherever data may be, is becoming increasingly important in the face of today’s important macro technology changes. As a result, customers and prospects globally are adopting our platform at high rates.”

Palo Alto Networks shares fell $21.54 (-13.37%) to $139.52 in after-hours trading Monday. Prior to today’s report, PANW shares had fallen 8.62% year-to-date, versus a 7.99% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.


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