Palo Alto Networks (PANW) experienced a significant jump in its stock price, rising nearly 9% in after-hours trading, after the company released its earnings report that surpassed analyst expectations. However, the decision to release the earnings report after the market closed on a Friday has sparked concerns on Wall Street.
Palo Alto reported adjusted earnings of $1.44 per share for the quarter, surpassing the anticipated $1.29 per share estimated by analysts. Despite this positive outcome, the company fell slightly short of analyst expectations in terms of revenue, recording $1.95 billion for the quarter, a 26% increase compared to the same period last year.
Palo Alto also unveiled its fiscal year 2024 outlook, projecting adjusted earnings per share of $5.34 at the midpoint, representing a considerable 20% increase. The company estimated sales between $8.15 billion and $8.2 billion for the 12 months ending in July. However, this falls short of the $8.4 billion revenue anticipated by analysts.
Before the earnings report was released, PANW stock had experienced a decline of approximately 16% since the company announced its earnings date on August 2. The unexpected timing of the report’s release, along with the anticipation of a lengthy two-hour earnings call, has generated speculation among traders.
Addressing the concerns surrounding the timing of the release, Palo Alto officials apologized for any inconvenience caused but explained that it was intended to provide ample time for analysts to engage in one-on-one calls with the company over the weekend.
It is worth noting that PANW stock holds the highest rank among the 35 companies in the computer-software security group, boasting a strong Composite Rating of 98 and a Relative Strength Rating of 90.
Overall, the positive earnings report and outlook for Palo Alto Networks have led to a surge in after-hours trading, although the timing of the release has raised eyebrows on Wall Street. Investors will be closely monitoring the company’s progress in the coming months as they strive to meet their projected sales figures for fiscal year 2024.
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