Palo Alto Networks (PANW) delivered quarterly earnings that beat expectations, the cybersecurity company said in a late Friday news release that raised eyebrows over its timing. Palo Alto stock popped in after-hours trading.
The unusual decision to announce fiscal fourth-quarter earnings after the market close on the week’s last trading day ignited angst on Wall Street leading up to the release. Potentially offsetting those concerns: Palo Alto reported earnings of $1.44 per share on revenue of $1.95 billion for its fiscal fourth quarter, ending July 31.
Analysts predicted earnings of $1.29 per share and revenue of $1.96 billion, according to polling by FactSet.
PANW stock stock jumped nearly 9% in after-market trading on Friday.
The company also released its fiscal year 2024 outlook, expecting sales $8.15 billion to $8.2 billion for the 12 months ending in July. Analysts called for $8.4 billion in revenue.
Palo Alto Stock: Falling This Month
Before its earnings release, PANW stock closed about 1% higher on the stock market today but has fallen by about 16% since the company announced its earnings date on Aug. 2. Shares had climbed more than 80% on the year leading up to the start of the month.
This is the first time an S&P 500 company has released earnings after market on a Friday in nearly three years, according to MarketWatch.
Palo Alto stock was pressured further when rival Fortinet (FTNT) announced that quarterly earnings missed the mark on Aug 3.
The unusual earnings timing — paired with Palo Alto telling analysts to expect a two-hour earnings call — prompted a great deal of speculation about what the company would say.
‘Sky’s The Limit’ On Outcomes
“The sky’s the limit in terms of potential outcomes,” Stifel analyst Adam Borg wrote in a note to clients Monday.
For that reason, analysts will be listening closely for what the company says during the earnings call.
Palo Alto stock is the highest ranked among the 35 companies in the computer-software security group, according to IBD Stock Checkup. Shares hold a strong IBD Composite Rating of 98, and Relative Strength Rating of 90.
More to come.
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