Palo Alto Networks (BanuThe stock jumped nearly 9% in after-hours trading on Friday after an unusually timed earnings release from the cybersecurity firm topped analyst estimates.
The unusual decision to release fiscal fourth-quarter earnings after the market closed on the last trading day of the week sparked concern on Wall Street leading up to the release. A possible offset to those concerns: Palo Alto reported adjusted earnings of $1.44 per share for the quarter ended July 31st. Analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings of $1.29 per share.
Palo Alto’s revenue of $1.95 billion for the quarter was up 26% over the same period last year. But it came in just short of analysts’ expectations of $1.96 billion.
The company also released its outlook for fiscal year 2024. Further, it estimates that it will reach adjusted earnings per share of $5.34 for the year at the halfway point. This represents an increase of 20%.
Palo Alto Stock: This month’s drop
Also, the company expects sales of between $8.15 billion and $8.2 billion for the 12 months ending in July. Analysts expected $8.4 billion in revenue.
Prior to its earnings release, PANW stock closed up about 1% in the stock market today but is down about 16% since the company reported its August 2 earnings date. beginning of the month.
The timing of the earnings may have contributed to the trader’s anxiety. This is the first time the S&P 500 has released after-market earnings on a Friday in nearly three years, according to market surveillance.
Palo Alto stock has also come under pressure from competitors fortinet (FTNTannounced that quarterly earnings had just missed the mark on Aug. 3.
Long winnings claims
On top of the unusual timing, Palo Alto officials told analysts to expect a two-hour earnings call. That sparked a great deal of speculation about what the company would say.
“Our picking on Friday has made us a great topic over the past couple of weeks and made for a very interesting read of all the analyst notes,” said Nikesh Arora, Chairman and CEO of Palo Alto.
Arora added, “We apologize to people who feel the inconvenience, but as we mentioned in our press release, we want to give analysts plenty of time to take one-on-one calls with us over the weekend and have a sales conference kick off on Sunday.”
Palo Alto stock ranks among the top 35 companies in the computer software security group, according to IBD stock check. Stock is strong IBD composite classification of 98, and a relative strength rating of 90.
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