Piper Jaffray Companies Initiates Coverage on Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW)

Stock analysts at Piper Jaffray Companies started coverage on shares of Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) in a report issued on Friday, Benzinga’s Daily Ratings Newsletter reports. The brokerage set a “neutral” rating and a $270.00 price target on the network technology company’s stock. Piper Jaffray Companies’ price objective indicates a potential upside of 13.96% from the company’s current price.

A number of other brokerages have also commented on PANW. Northland Securities reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $240.00 price target on shares of Palo Alto Networks in a report on Monday, September 16th. Robert W. Baird set a $275.00 price target on shares of Palo Alto Networks and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Sunday, September 15th. Maxim Group lifted their price target on shares of Palo Alto Networks from $304.00 to $316.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, September 5th. Rosenblatt Securities started coverage on shares of Palo Alto Networks in a report on Monday, September 9th. They set a “hold” rating and a $220.00 price target on the stock. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted their price target on shares of Palo Alto Networks from $270.00 to $300.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Thursday, September 5th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating, twenty-five have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Palo Alto Networks has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $261.03.

Shares of NYSE:PANW traded up $3.07 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $236.93. 728,062 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,284,199. The firm has a market capitalization of $22.68 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 376.08 and a beta of 0.99. The business’s fifty day moving average price is $215.88 and its 200-day moving average price is $215.76. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.90, a quick ratio of 1.78 and a current ratio of 1.78. Palo Alto Networks has a twelve month low of $160.08 and a twelve month high of $260.63.

Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, September 4th. The network technology company reported $0.19 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.27 by ($0.08). The business had revenue of $805.80 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $803.56 million. Palo Alto Networks had a positive return on equity of 4.82% and a negative net margin of 2.82%. Palo Alto Networks’s revenue for the quarter was up 22.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.28 EPS. Analysts predict that Palo Alto Networks will post -0.05 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other Palo Alto Networks news, EVP Nir Zuk sold 12,000 shares of Palo Alto Networks stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $210.66, for a total value of $2,527,920.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 924,695 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $194,796,248.70. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CFO Kathleen Bonanno sold 1,610 shares of Palo Alto Networks stock in a transaction on Sunday, October 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $214.74, for a total transaction of $345,731.40. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 46,636 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,014,614.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 77,610 shares of company stock valued at $16,437,971. Insiders own 2.30% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of PANW. Senator Investment Group LP bought a new stake in Palo Alto Networks in the second quarter valued at $203,760,000. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its stake in Palo Alto Networks by 13.2% in the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 5,074,350 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $1,033,950,000 after purchasing an additional 590,200 shares in the last quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD increased its position in shares of Palo Alto Networks by 292.3% during the second quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 620,651 shares of the network technology company’s stock worth $126,464,000 after acquiring an additional 462,447 shares in the last quarter. Cadian Capital Management LP increased its position in shares of Palo Alto Networks by 41.9% during the second quarter. Cadian Capital Management LP now owns 1,318,316 shares of the network technology company’s stock worth $268,620,000 after acquiring an additional 389,383 shares in the last quarter. Finally, UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. increased its position in shares of Palo Alto Networks by 29.5% during the second quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 1,460,690 shares of the network technology company’s stock worth $297,630,000 after acquiring an additional 332,680 shares in the last quarter. 78.77% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Palo Alto Networks

Palo Alto Networks, Inc provides security platform solutions worldwide. The company provides firewall appliances and software; Panorama, a security management solution for the control of appliances deployed on an end-customer's network as a virtual or a physical appliance; and Virtual System Upgrades, which are available as extensions to the virtual system capacity that ships with physical appliances.

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Analyst Recommendations for Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW)

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