Look At Analyst Expectations For A Better Read On Palo Alto Networks Inc. (NYSE: PANW)


    BlackRock Fund Advisors recently announced the acquisition of new stake in Palo Alto Networks Inc. (NYSE:PANW). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Technology company by 6.62% to 4.78 million shares with purchase of 0.3 million shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 4.95% valued currently at $1.22 billion. In addition, Generation Investment Management.. raised its holdings by 0.84 million to 3.34 million shares. And ClearBridge Investments LLC has lifted its position by 9.88% or 0.24 million shares – to 2.64 million shares.

    With over 4.47 million Palo Alto Networks Inc. (PANW) shares trading Tuesday and a closing price of $260.99 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $1.17 billion. The shares have shown a negative weekly performance of -1.79% and its price on 08/25/20 lost nearly -2.28%. Currently, there are 96.70M common shares owned by the public and among those 91.04M shares have been available to trade.

    The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $340.00 and a low of $221.00 should the stock experience a downside. Incidentally, analysts’ outlook for the Palo Alto Networks Inc. stock is 1.90 for the next 12 months. The average price target is 4.12% above its last price level and an upside to the estimated low will see the stock lose -18.1% over that period. But an upside of 23.24% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while mean target price for the stock is $300.00.

    Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 180 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 32 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 206,391 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 148 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 473,911 shares.

    The top 3 mutual fund holders in Palo Alto Networks Inc. are Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, Vanguard Mid Cap Index Fund, and Canada Pension Plan. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index owns 2.61 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $667.71 million. The company sold 1277.0 shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 2.71% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard Mid Cap Index Fund sold 17077.0 shares to see its total holdings shrink to 2.25 million shares valued at over $575.64 million and representing 2.33% of the shares outstanding. Canada Pension Plan bought 0.62 million shares to bring its total holdings to over 1.4 million shares at a value of $357.52 million. Canada Pension Plan now owns shares totaling to 1.45% of the shares outstanding.

    Shares of Palo Alto Networks Inc. (NYSE: PANW) opened at $259.98, down -$7.09 from a prior closing price of $267.07. However, the script later closed the day at $260.99, down -2.28%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of -1.79% and 12.60% over the past three months. PANW shares are trading 12.86% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance up to 28.16% higher. It has a 12-month low price of $125.47 and touched a high of $275.03 over the same period. Currently, 4.47 million shares have been traded, compared to an average intraday trading volume of 1.20 million shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by 0.34%, 6.04%, and 17.25% respectively.

    Institutional ownership of Palo Alto Networks Inc. (NYSE: PANW) shares accounts for 85.10% of the company’s 96.70M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 34.05%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 50.19% and 16.65% respectively.

    It has a market capitalization of $25.48B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 1.19. The earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at -$2.36. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 2.79% over the week and 2.49% over the month.

    Analysts forecast that Palo Alto Networks Inc. (PANW) will achieve an EPS of $1.32 for the current quarter, $1.35 for the next quarter and $6.86 for 2022. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is $1.14 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $1.39. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $1.05 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to increase by 35.00%, and 21.65% over the next financial year. EPS should shrink at an annualized rate of 15.85% over the next five years, compared to 22.20% over the past 5-year period.

    Looking at the support for the PANW, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. Oppenheimer stated their Outperform rating for the stock in a research note on August 21, 2020, with the firm’s price target at $265-$305. Loop Capital coverage for the Palo Alto Networks Inc. (PANW) stock in a research note released on August 21, 2020 offered a Buy rating with a price target of $325. Deutsche Bank was of a view on August 20, 2020 that the stock is Buy, while Monness Crespi & Hardt gave the stock Buy rating on August 19, 2020, issuing a price target of $255- $295. BTIG Research on their part issued Buy rating on August 05, 2020.


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