Palo Alto Networks (PANW 176.43, -0.11, -0.06%) will report fiscal first quarter
results this afternoon, and management will subsequently host a call at 4:30 p.m. EST.
This will be the company’s second quarter under CEO Nikesh Arora, who joined the company from Google in June.
The company is a leader in the competitive software security market, where demand is strong. That strength is expected to continue in 2019.
Palo Alto Networks guided for fiscal first quarter non-GAAP earnings per share of $1.04-1.06 (vs. $0.74 last year) with revenue up 25-27% to $625-635 mln.
The company has exceeded estimates on the top and bottom line for six quarters in a row and has guided revenue for the following quarter revenue above consensus for three consecutive quarters.
Last quarter, EPS grew 39%, free cash flow (FCF) grew 33%, revenue grew 29%, and billings rose 29% as customers grew 27% to over 54,000.
Last month, Palo Alto hired former Google Cloud Platform President Amit Singh as President. The company also closed its $173 mln cash acquisition of RedLock, a cloud threat defense company.
Analysts expect fiscal 2019 non-GAAP EPS to be up 26% with revenue up 22%.
Among large cap, pure play cyber-security companies, Palo Alto is the fastest growing (in terms of revenue) and second cheapest (FCF multiple). Only Symantec (SYMC) is cheaper, where revenue is expected to fall 5% this year.
With a $16.7 bln valuation, Palo Alto Networks trades at just under ~6x fiscal 2019 sales, or ~14x FCF estimates for the next twelve months. The options market is pricing in a ~7% move in the stock tomorrow.
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