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

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

A number of other research firms have also weighed in on PANW. Wedbush reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $275.00 target price on shares of Palo Alto Networks in a report on Thursday, September 5th. KeyCorp decreased their target price on shares of Palo Alto Networks from $280.00 to $250.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, September 5th. ValuEngine raised shares of Palo Alto Networks from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, November 1st. Robert W. Baird set a $275.00 target price on shares of Palo Alto Networks and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Sunday, September 15th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group upped their target price on shares of Palo Alto Networks from $185.00 to $195.00 and gave the stock an “underperform” rating in a report on Thursday, September 5th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating, twenty-five have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Palo Alto Networks currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $261.03.

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

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

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In other news, CFO Kathleen Bonanno sold 1,610 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Sunday, October 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $214.74, for a total value of $345,731.40. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 46,636 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,014,614.64. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Nir Zuk sold 12,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $210.66, for a total transaction 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 approximately $194,796,248.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 77,610 shares of company stock worth $16,437,971 in the last three months. Insiders own 2.30% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in PANW. Flossbach von Storch AG Zurich purchased a new stake in shares of Palo Alto Networks in the 2nd quarter valued at $2,837,000. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Palo Alto Networks by 29.1% in the 2nd quarter. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. now owns 12,800 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $2,608,000 after purchasing an additional 2,883 shares in the last quarter. Zions Bancorporation N.A. boosted its stake in shares of Palo Alto Networks by 44.6% in the 2nd quarter. Zions Bancorporation N.A. now owns 1,170 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $238,000 after purchasing an additional 361 shares in the last quarter. Pennsylvania Trust Co boosted its stake in shares of Palo Alto Networks by 6.3% in the 2nd quarter. Pennsylvania Trust Co now owns 1,685 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $344,000 after purchasing an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Chesley Taft & Associates LLC boosted its position in Palo Alto Networks by 3.7% during the 2nd quarter. Chesley Taft & Associates LLC now owns 26,931 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $5,487,000 after buying an additional 960 shares during the period. 78.77% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Palo Alto Networks Company Profile

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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