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Palo Alto Networks Shares Plunge 6 percent on Weak Billings Outlook

Palo Alto Networks (NASDAQ:PANW) saw its shares fall by more than 6% in pre-market today as its underwhelming billings outlook overshadowed a solid fiscal third-quarter earnings performance.
The cybersecurity firm’s revenue increased by 15% to $2.0 billion, surpassing both the analyst consensus of $1.97 billion and the previous year’s $1.7 billion. Adjusted earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter came in at $1.32, beating the forecasted $1.25.
The company’s remaining performance obligations grew by 23% year-over-year to $11.3 billion, slightly above the expected $11.28 billion. CEO Nikesh Arora attributed the strong results to customer interest in the company’s platform strategy, which incorporates artificial intelligence into security solutions.
CFO Dipak Golechha pointed to disciplined execution and investments in market and innovation as key factors driving the company’s steady, profitable growth.
Looking ahead, Palo Alto Networks provided guidance for Q4 with an EPS range of $1.40 to $1.42, which is in line with the Street estimate of $1.41. Revenue is projected to be between $2.15 billion and $2.17 billion, matching the Street estimate of $2.16 billion.
However, the billings forecast for both the fourth quarter and the full fiscal year, with ranges of $3.43 billion to $3.48 billion for Q4 and $10.13 billion to $10.18 billion for the year, came in slightly below analyst expectations, contributing to the drop in stock price.
For the full fiscal year 2024, the company revised its guidance, projecting revenue between $7.99 billion and $8.01 billion, an increase from the previous range of $7.95 billion to $8.00 billion, compared to the Street estimate of $7.98 billion. Adjusted EPS is expected to be between $5.56 and $5.58, exceeding the consensus estimate of $5.52.

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