Palo Alto Networks (PANW) Gains But Lags Market: What You Should Know

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Palo Alto Networks (PANW) closed at $224.45 in the latest trading session, marking a +0.26% move from the prior day. This move lagged the S&P 500's daily gain of 1.29%. At the same time, the Dow added 1.49%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 1.46%.

Heading into today, shares of the security software maker had gained 14.84% over the past month, outpacing the Computer and Technology sector's gain of 6.08% and the S&P 500's gain of 4.57% in that time.

PANW will be looking to display strength as it nears its nex t earnings release, which is expected to be February 26, 2019. On that day, PANW is projected to report earnings of $1.22 per share, which would represent year-over-year growth of 41.86%. Meanwhile, our latest consensus estimate is calling for revenue of $682.76 million, up 25.88% from the prior-year quarter.

PANW's full-year Zacks Consensus Estimates are calling for earnings of $5.19 per share and revenue of $2.83 billion. These results would represent year-over-year changes of +30.08% and +24.51%, respectively.

It is also important to note the recent changes to analyst estimates for PANW. These revisions help to show the ever-changing nature of near-term business trends. As such, positive estimate revisions reflect analyst optimism about the company's business and profitability.

Our research shows that these estimate changes are directly correlated with near-term stock prices. We developed the Zacks Rank to capitalize on this phenomenon. Our system takes these estimate changes into account and delivers a clear, actionable rating model.

Ranging from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), the Zacks Rank system has a proven, outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks returning an average of +25% annually since 1988. Over the past month, the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate remained stagnant. PANW is currently a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

In terms of valuation, PANW is currently trading at a Forward P/E ratio of 43.1. This valuation marks a discount compared to its industry's average Forward P/E of 47.38.

Also, we should mention that PANW has a PEG ratio of 1.84. This popular metric is similar to the widely-known P/E ratio, with the difference being that the PEG ratio also takes into account the company's expected earnings growth rate. PANW's industry had an average PEG ratio of 2.3 as of yesterday's close.

The Security industry is part of the Computer and Technology sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 16, which puts it in the top 7% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank includes is listed in order from best to worst in terms of the average Zacks Rank of the individual companies within each of these sectors. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.

You can find more information on all of these metrics, and much more, on Zacks.com.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Investing Ideas , Stocks
Referenced Symbols: PANW

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