Piper Jaffray Companies assumed coverage on shares of Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) in a research report report published on Friday morning, Benzinga’s Daily Ratings Newsletter reports. The brokerage issued a neutral rating and a $270.00 price objective on the network technology company’s stock.

Several other equities analysts also recently issued reports on the company. Morgan Stanley set a $290.00 price objective on Palo Alto Networks and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 3rd. Credit Suisse Group boosted their price objective on Palo Alto Networks from $185.00 to $195.00 and gave the stock an underperform rating in a research report on Thursday, September 5th. Wells Fargo & Co reduced their price objective on Palo Alto Networks from $300.00 to $275.00 and set an overweight rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, September 5th. KeyCorp reduced their price objective on Palo Alto Networks from $280.00 to $250.00 and set an overweight rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, September 5th. Finally, Northland Securities reiterated a hold rating and set a $240.00 price objective on shares of Palo Alto Networks in a research report on Monday, September 16th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating, twenty-six have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $262.06.

Shares of PANW stock traded up $5.14 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $241.15. 1,132,595 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,282,173. The company has a market cap of $23.11 billion, a P/E ratio of 382.78 and a beta of 0.99. The company’s 50 day moving average is $217.68 and its two-hundred day moving average is $215.75. Palo Alto Networks has a 1 year low of $160.08 and a 1 year high of $260.63. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.90, a current ratio of 1.78 and a quick ratio of 1.78.

Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, September 4th. The network technology company reported $0.19 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.27 by ($0.08). The business had revenue of $805.80 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $803.56 million. Palo Alto Networks had a positive return on equity of 4.82% and a negative net margin of 2.82%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 22.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.28 earnings per share. As a group, analysts predict that Palo Alto Networks will post -0.05 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Palo Alto Networks news, Director Mark D. Mclaughlin sold 40,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $207.78, for a total value of $8,311,200.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 240,236 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $49,916,236.08. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Nir Zuk sold 12,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $210.66, for a total value of $2,527,920.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 924,695 shares in the company, valued at approximately $194,796,248.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 77,610 shares of company stock worth $16,437,971. 2.30% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Senator Investment Group LP acquired a new position in Palo Alto Networks in the second quarter worth about $203,760,000. Renaissance Technologies LLC boosted its holdings in Palo Alto Networks by 13.2% during the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 5,074,350 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $1,033,950,000 after acquiring an additional 590,200 shares during the period. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD boosted its holdings in Palo Alto Networks by 292.3% during the second quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 620,651 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $126,464,000 after acquiring an additional 462,447 shares during the period. Cadian Capital Management LP boosted its holdings in Palo Alto Networks by 41.9% during the second quarter. Cadian Capital Management LP now owns 1,318,316 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $268,620,000 after acquiring an additional 389,383 shares during the period. Finally, UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. boosted its holdings in Palo Alto Networks by 29.5% during the second quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 1,460,690 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $297,630,000 after acquiring an additional 332,680 shares during the period. 78.63% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Palo Alto Networks

Palo Alto Networks, Inc provides security platform solutions worldwide. The company provides firewall appliances and software; Panorama, a security management solution for the control of appliances deployed on an end-customer's network as a virtual or a physical appliance; and Virtual System Upgrades, which are available as extensions to the virtual system capacity that ships with physical appliances.

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Analyst Recommendations for Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW)

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