First Trust Advisors LP Grows Stake in Palo Alto Networks Inc (PANW)

First Trust Advisors LP grew its stake in shares of Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW) by 17.7% in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 240,560 shares of the network technology company’s stock after acquiring an additional 36,258 shares during the period. First Trust Advisors LP owned about 0.26% of Palo Alto Networks worth $34,867,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company boosted its holdings in Palo Alto Networks by 9.6% in the 2nd quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 3,491 shares of the network technology company’s stock worth $467,000 after buying an additional 305 shares during the period. Gilman Hill Asset Management LLC boosted its holdings in Palo Alto Networks by 6.7% in the 3rd quarter. Gilman Hill Asset Management LLC now owns 5,443 shares of the network technology company’s stock worth $784,000 after buying an additional 340 shares during the period. Strs Ohio boosted its holdings in Palo Alto Networks by 5.9% in the 3rd quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 6,225 shares of the network technology company’s stock worth $897,000 after buying an additional 347 shares during the period. Nine Chapters Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in Palo Alto Networks by 18.2% in the 3rd quarter. Nine Chapters Capital Management LLC now owns 2,600 shares of the network technology company’s stock worth $375,000 after buying an additional 400 shares during the period. Finally, Analyst IMS Investment Management Services Ltd. boosted its holdings in Palo Alto Networks by 5.2% in the 3rd quarter. Analyst IMS Investment Management Services Ltd. now owns 9,330 shares of the network technology company’s stock worth $1,306,000 after buying an additional 460 shares during the period. 78.92% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW) opened at $162.08 on Tuesday. Palo Alto Networks Inc has a twelve month low of $107.31 and a twelve month high of $163.88.

Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) last released its earnings results on Monday, November 20th. The network technology company reported $0.74 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.06. Palo Alto Networks had a negative net margin of 11.97% and a negative return on equity of 15.77%. The company had revenue of $505.50 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $489.36 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.55 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 27.0% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts forecast that Palo Alto Networks Inc will post -0.37 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, CEO Mark D. Mclaughlin sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, January 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $160.00, for a total transaction of $800,000.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 323,610 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $51,777,600. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CFO Kathleen Bonanno sold 2,831 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, November 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $150.68, for a total transaction of $426,575.08. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 38,716 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,833,726.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 396,644 shares of company stock worth $59,381,588. 4.80% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several research analysts recently commented on the stock. OTR Global raised shares of Palo Alto Networks to a “positive” rating in a report on Friday. Evercore ISI set a $180.00 price objective on shares of Palo Alto Networks and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 14th. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and issued a $173.00 price objective (up from $155.00) on shares of Palo Alto Networks in a report on Tuesday, November 21st. Oppenheimer reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $180.00 price objective (up from $173.00) on shares of Palo Alto Networks in a report on Tuesday, November 21st. Finally, Imperial Capital raised their price objective on shares of Palo Alto Networks from $165.00 to $175.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 22nd. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and thirty-four have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $167.39.

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About Palo Alto Networks

Palo Alto Networks, Inc offers a next-generation security platform. The Company’s security platform consists of three elements: Next-Generation Firewall, Advanced Endpoint Protection and Threat Intelligence Cloud. Its Next-Generation Firewall delivers application, user and content visibility and control, as well as protection against network-based cyber threats integrated within the firewall through its hardware and software architecture.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW)

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