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Palo Alto Networks one among 2022’s finest software program shares after one other beat-and-raise quarter

Palo Alto Networks Inc. shares rallied Friday into rarified air for a tech firm—and particularly for an enterprise software program firm—in 2022, following one other beat-and-raise quarter and reward from Wall Road.

Late Thursday, Palo Alto Networks PANW,
saved up the momentum, reporting one other Wall Road-pleasing quarter and saying that whereas macroeconomic components weighed upon enterprise spending, the corporate was not seeing lack of demand and that it may attempt to get prospects to decide to offers earlier.

With its shares rising as a lot as 8% Friday, the corporate’s inventory is at a 9% decline 12 months to this point. Compared, the ETFMG Prime Cyber ​​Safety ETF HACK,
is down 27% 12 months to this point, the First Belief Nasdaq Cybersecurity ETF CIBR,
is off 24%, the S&P 500 index SPX,
is down 17% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index COMP,
is off 29%.

Citi Analysis analyst Fatima Boolani, who has a purchase score, mentioned in a Friday notice that the corporate “handily cleared all key development and profitability hurdles.”

Whereas it was one other beat-and-raise quarter, Boolani acknowledged the restraint within the “elevate” half, which she mentioned signaled “prudence in opposition to funds/massive deal scrutiny” that the corporate “is seeing in pockets, and the place Palo Alto Networks’ proactive deal rigor/pipeline protection supply estimate danger backstop.”

Jefferies analyst Joseph Gallo, who has additionally has a purchase score, applauded the corporate’s annual recurring income, or ARR, development of 67% and mentioned that sturdy reserving helped as deal cycles elongate. ARR is a metric usually utilized by software-as-a-service, or SaaS, corporations to point out how a lot income the corporate can count on primarily based on subscriptions.

Gallo, nevertheless, mentioned he was keeping track of billings development, which slowed with solely a 27% year-over-year achieve, and on a slowdown of large-deal development, which was at its lowest for the reason that center of 2019.

Stifel analyst Adam Borg, who has a purchase score, mentioned Palo Alto Networks’ report “checked all of the containers.”

“Web/internet, we proceed to consider Palo has a lot of drivers to maintain no less than 20%+ top-line development and operating-margin/free money circulate enlargement in coming years,” Borg mentioned. “Extra broadly, we proceed to consider that Palo is properly positioned to be a pure consolidator of cybersecurity spend and that its development/profitability traits present a level of defensibility in unsure occasions.”

Of the 41 analysts surveyed by FactSet, 37 have buy-grade scores and 4 have maintain scores. The inventory hasn’t carried a promote score from any analyst surveyed by FactSet since January 2022. Of the analysts protecting the inventory, 10 raised and 6 lowered their worth targets, leading to a mean of $217.87, down from a earlier $219.21, in response to FactSet information.

Whereas Palo Alto Networks is not on the S&P 500, it’s on the Nasdaq 100 NDX,
the place it is the Thirty second-best performer within the 12 months to this point. However amongst tech corporations, the one higher performers are analog chip makers like Texas Devices Inc. TXN,
and Analog Units Inc. ADI,
and video-game publishers Activision Blizzard Inc. ATVI,
— which is simply ready for the Microsoft Corp. MSFT,
acquisition to shut — and Digital Arts Inc. EA,

Though it is not on the Nasdaq 100, the one better-performing shares within the area of enterprise software program of a lot import are these of Worldwide Enterprise Machines Inc. IBM,
which is up greater than 10% 12 months to this point, and product administration software program firm PTC Inc. PTC,
which is up 1% 12 months to this point.


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