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Palo Alto Networks (PANW) Gains But Lags Market: What You Should Know

This story originally appeared on Zacks

Palo Alto Networks (PANW) closed at $526.40 in the latest trading session, marking a +1.03% move from the prior day. The stock lagged the S&P 500’s daily gain of 1.58%. At the same time, the Dow added 1.22%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 0.46%.

– Zacks

Heading into today, shares of the security software maker had gained 4.39% over the past month, outpacing the Computer and Technology sector’s loss of 7.6% and the S&P 500’s loss of 5.54% in that time.

Investors will be hoping for strength from Palo Alto Networks as it approaches its next earnings release, which is expected to be February 22, 2022. In that report, analysts expect Palo Alto Networks to post earnings of $1.65 per share. This would mark year-over-year growth of 6.45%. Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenue is projecting net sales of $1.28 billion, up 25.9% from the year-ago period.

For the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates are projecting earnings of $7.24 per share and revenue of $5.39 billion, which would represent changes of +17.92% and +26.57%, respectively, from the prior year.

Investors might also notice recent changes to analyst estimates for Palo Alto Networks. Recent revisions tend to reflect the latest near-term business trends. As such, positive estimate revisions reflect analyst optimism about the company’s business and profitability.

Based on our research, we believe these estimate revisions are directly related to near-team stock moves. Investors can capitalize on this by using the Zacks Rank. This model considers these estimate changes and provides a simple, actionable rating system.

The Zacks Rank system ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell). It has a remarkable, outside-audited track record of success, with #1 stocks delivering an average annual return of +25% since 1988. The Zacks Consensus EPS estimate remained stagnant within the past month. Palo Alto Networks is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).

Valuation is also important, so investors should note that Palo Alto Networks has a Forward P/E ratio of 71.95 right now. This represents a premium compared to its industry’s average Forward P/E of 49.62.

Investors should also note that PANW has a PEG ratio of 2.45 right now. This popular metric is similar to the widely-known P/E ratio, with the difference being that the PEG ratio also takes into account the company’s expected earnings growth rate. The Security industry currently had an average PEG ratio of 3.05 as of yesterday’s close.

The Security industry is part of the Computer and Technology sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 235, putting it in the bottom 8% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank includes is listed in order from best to worst in terms of the average Zacks Rank of the individual companies within each of these sectors. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.

To follow PANW in the coming trading sessions, be sure to utilize Zacks.com.

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