Earnings Results: Palo Alto Networks stock rises on earnings beat, outlook hike

United States

Palo Alto Networks Inc. shares rose in the extended session Thursday after the cybersecurity company reported results that topped Wall Street estimates and hiked its outlook for the year.

Palo Alto Networks  PANW, +2.09%  shares advanced 5.5% after hours, following a 2.1% gain in the regular session to close at $ 342.59.

The company reported a fiscal third-quarter loss of $ 145.1 million, or $ 1.50 a share, compared with a loss of $ 74.8 million, or 77 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings, which exclude share-based compensation charges and other items, were $ 1.38 a share, compared with $ 1.17 in the year-ago period.

Revenue rose to $ 1.07 billion from $ 869.4 million in the year-ago quarter. Billings, which reflects future business under contract, rose to $ 1.29 billion, compared with $ 1.02 billion a year ago,

Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast earnings of $ 1.29 a share on revenue of $ 1.06 billion and billings of $ 1.23 billion.

On the call with analysts, Palo Alto Networks Chairman and Chief Executive Nikesh Arora played up the fact that high-profile hacks like the SolarWinds intrusion and the Colonial pipeline ransomware attack were driving business.

Arora said that recently a “global tech company” booked a follow-on eight-figure deal, and that a “Fortune 30 manufacturing company” and a “Fortune 10 health-care company” had both spent eight figures. The CEO noted that Palo Alto Networks is bringing in these deals even as it competes with CrowdStrike Holdings Inc. CRWD, +2.68%, which Arora said “outflanks us eight to one” in the number of salespeople.

Palo Alto Networks expects adjusted fiscal-fourth quarter earnings of $ 1.42 to $ 1.44 a share on revenue of $ 1.17 billion to $ 1.18 billion, while analysts had forecast $ 1.41 a share on revenue of $ 1.16 billion. The company also expects billings of $ 1.7 billion to $ 1.72 billion, while analysts had forecast $ 1.62 billion.

For the year, Palo Alto Networks expects adjusted earnings of $ 5.97 to $ 5.99 a share on revenue of $ 5.28 billion to $ 5.3 billion, while analysts expect $ 5.86 a share on revenue of $ 4.18 billion. The company also sees billings of $ 5.28 billion to $ 5.30 billion, while analysts forecast $ 5.16 billion.

Palo Alto Networks shares are up 46% for the past 12 months. In comparison, the ETFMG Prime Cyber Security ETF  HACK, +1.70% is up 34%, the S&P 500 index  SPX, +1.06% is up 40%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index  COMP, +1.77%  is up 44%.