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Palo Alto Networks (PANW) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know

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Palo Alto Networks (PANW) closed the most recent trading day at $226.86, moving +1.05% from the previous trading session. This move outpaced the S&P 500's daily gain of 0.8%. Meanwhile, the Dow gained 0.82%, and the Nasdaq, a tech-heavy index, added 1.14%.

Prior to today's trading, shares of the security software maker had lost 9.56% over the past month. This has lagged the Computer and Technology sector's loss of 5.07% and the S&P 500's loss of 3.2% in that time.

PANW will be looking to display strength as it nears its next earnings release, which is expected to be May 29, 2019. In that report, analysts expect PANW to post earnings of $1.25 per share. This would mark year-over-year growth of 26.26%. Our most recent consensus estimate is calling for quarterly revenue of $703.44 million, up 24.04% from the year-ago period.

Looking at the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates suggest analysts are expecting earnings of $5.47 per share and revenue of $2.87 billion. These totals would mark changes of +37.09% and +26.07%, respectively, from last year.

It is also important to note the recent changes to analyst estimates for PANW. These revisions typically reflect the latest short-term business trends, which can change frequently. As such, positive estimate revisions reflect analyst optimism about the company's business and profitability.

Research indicates that these estimate revisions are directly correlated with near-term share price momentum. 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. Over the past month, the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 7.06% higher. PANW is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).

Valuation is also important, so investors should note that PANW has a Forward P/E ratio of 41.03 right now. For comparison, its industry has an average Forward P/E of 41.03, which means PANW is trading at a no noticeable deviation to the group.

It is also worth noting that PANW currently has a PEG ratio of 1.75. 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. Security stocks are, on average, holding a PEG ratio of 2.32 based on yesterday's closing prices.

The Security industry is part of the Computer and Technology sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 68, putting it in the top 27% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.

Make sure to utilize Zacks. Com to follow all of these stock-moving metrics, and more, in the coming trading sessions.

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