Palo Alto Networks: Is PANW Worth Watching?

By Duncan Ferris

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We take a look at Palo Alto Networks (NASAQ: PANW), which has enjoyed a boost after reporting stronger than expected Q2 results.

Palo Alto Networks (NASDAQ: PANW) has reported strong earnings and raised its outlook for the coming year. It's one of today's trending stocks, but is the California-based cybersecurity specialist a good investment?

What is PANW?

The company says it aims to address the world's greatest security challenges with continuous innovation that seizes the latest breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, analytics, automation, and orchestration. 

It has more than 85,000 customers in at least 150 countries, generating income through product sales and subscription and support.

PANW’s Q2 Highlights

Total revenue for the fiscal second quarter 2022 grew 30% year over year to $1.3bn, while GAAP net loss was $93.5m. this equates to a loss of or $0.95 per diluted share, compared with $1.48 per diluted share in the same period 12 months earlier.

Palo Alto Networks CEO and chairman, Nikesh Arora, said:

"In Q2, our company continued to benefit from strength across our three security platforms, driven by strong cybersecurity demand, organizations architecting for hybrid work and growing their hyperscale cloud footprints.

"On the back of this strength, notably in our next-generation security offerings, we are raising our guidance for the year across revenue, billings, and earnings per share."

As such, the company’s guidance for the year ahead was updated to show revenue increasing by between 27% and 29%. Meanwhile, forecasts for total billings were pit in the range of $6.80bn to $6.85bn, representing year-over-year growth of between 25% and 26%.

Financial Metrics

  • P/BV: 91.68

  • P/S: 10.25

  • Forward P/E: 67.11

  • Market Cap: $47.57bn

  • Cash and Cash Equivalents: $1.92bn

  • Total Current Liabilities: $7.4bn

  • Total Liabilities: $10.4bn

Is PANW a Good Investment?

A number of analysts changed their approach to Palo Alto Networks following the earnings release. JPMorgan analyst Sterling Auty upgraded the stock to neutral from underweight and boosted its price target to $620, while analysts at Citi and KeyBanc also adjusted price targets upwards.

The strong enterprise demand for cybersecurity is of course a welcome sign for the stock and the consequent boost to yearly outlook has unsurprisingly turned the heads of investors.

However, the stock’s high P/BV and low ROE indicate that it could be overvalued among peers in the security industry.

From the stock’s high P/E ratio we can also infer that investors expect it to perform well in the future, but the company remains a long way from that level of performance. PANW’s earnings show that things are going in the right direction, but the company remains a speculative investment in a competitive space.  

That being said, the company's share price has increased by more than 30% over the last 12 months, reaching a high of almost $570 as December came to a close.

We’ve also produced in-depth reports on ESG investing and Healthcare investing. Or check out our 12 investing themes for 2022.

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Topics:
information-technology
Software
Cybersecurity
Industries:
Information Technology
Companies:
Palo Alto Networks

Author: Duncan Ferris

This article does not provide any financial advice and is not a recommendation to deal in any securities or product. Investments may fall in value and an investor may lose some or all of their investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

Duncan Ferris does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the above article.

Duncan Ferris has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

Digitonic Ltd, the owner of ValueTheMarkets.com, does not hold a position or positions in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the above article.

Digitonic Ltd, the owner of ValueTheMarkets.com, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

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