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Palo Alto Networks Stock Spikes as Profits Top Outlook


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The company saw “notable strength in large customer transactions,” said CEO Nikesh Arora.


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Palo Alto Networks

shares gained ground in late trading Monday after the security-software company posted better-than-expected results for its fiscal fourth quarter.

For the quarter ended July 31, Palo Alto Networks (ticker: PANW) reported revenue of $1.22 billion, up 28% from a year ago and ahead of the Street consensus at $1.17 billion. Non-GAAP profits were $1.60 a share, above consensus at $1.43 a share. Based on generally accepted accounting principles, the company lost $119.3 million, or $1.23 a share. Billings were $1.9 billion, up 34%.

The company said remaining performance obligations, a measure of work contracted for but not yet completed, was $5.9 billion, up 36%.

“Our strong Q4 performance was the culmination of executing on our strategy throughout the year, including product innovation, platform integration, business model transformation and investments in our go-to-market organization,” CEO Nikesh Arora said in a statement. He added that the company saw “notable strength in large customer transactions.”

For the fiscal first quarter ending in October, the company is projecting revenue of $1.19 billion to $1.21 billion, with non-GAAP profits of $1.55 to $1.58 a share. Street consensus had called for $1.15 billion and $1.60 a share.

For the July 2022 fiscal year, Palo Alto Networks projects revenue of $5.275 billion to $5.5325 billion, up from $4.3 billion in fiscal 2021 and ahead of the Street at $4.98 billion. The company sees profits for the year ranging from $7.15 to $7.25 a share, above consensus at $7.09. Palo Alto Networks sees full year billings ranging from $6.6 billion to $6.65 billion, up from $5.5 billion in fiscal 2021.

The company also said that it has increased its stock repurchase program by $676.1 million, boosting the total authorization to $1 billion.

In late trading, shares of Palo Alto Networks were up 8%, to $402.20.

Write to Eric J. Savitz at eric.savitz@barrons.com