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Palo Alto Networks (PANW)

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  • Tue, Apr. 14, 6:22 AM
    • Cyberattacks and cybercrime against large companies – those with over 2,500 employees - rose 40% globally in 2014, according to Symantec's annual Internet Security Threat study published Tuesday.
    • Attacks on small- and medium-sized companies, which accounted for 60% of targeted attacks, increased 26% and 30%, respectively.
    • Despite the large hacks at Home Depot, JPMorgan, Staples and Sony, Symantec says the mining industry, which includes oil & gas, was the most-targeted sector last year.
    • Related tickers: FEYE, IMPV, FTNT, PFPT, HACK, CYBR, VDSI, CHKP, PANW, CUDA
    | 6 Comments
  • Mon, Apr. 13, 4:44 PM
    • A Q1 Piper survey of security resellers found of 54% of Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) resellers stating their sales were above plan during the quarter, the highest figure among 10 covered firms. 19% were below plan, and 27% in-line.
    • Piper notes Palo Alto's above-plan reading was its highest since Q4 2013, and that it also "had the highest percent of resellers expecting above normal seasonality in Q2 (June) with 60 percent."
    • FireEye (NASDAQ:FEYE) had the second-best numbers: 43% of resellers were above plan, 21% below, and 36% in-line. 20% expect Q2 to be above normal seasonality. Barracuda (NYSE:CUDA) was third on Piper's list with 25% above plan, 13% below, and 63% in-line.
    • ProofPoint (NASDAQ:PFPT) was a laggard: 56% of resellers were below plan, 44% in-line, and none above. Moreover, the net difference between above-plan and below-plan resellers (-56%) represented a sharp reversal from Q4's +20%. A silver line: 33% of resellers expect above-normal Q2 seasonality.
    • Fortinet (NASDAQ:FTNT) was also soft: 13% of resellers were above plan vs. 38% below and 50% in-line. Its net difference fell to -25% from Q4's +6%. Imperva (NYSE:IMPV) had 29% below plan, 71% in-line, and none above; however, its net difference (-29%) was only a little worse than Q4's -20%.
    • ProofPoint fell 6.6% today, and Fortinet fell 3.8%. But other security tech plays also sold off. FireEye fell 3.2%, giving back some of the Friday gains seen in anticipation of a 60 Minutes appearance. Symantec (-25% net difference in Piper's survey) fell 5.7% as more details emerged about the company's reported efforts to sell its storage software unit (led shares to spike on Friday).
    • Palo Alto fell 1.9%, giving back some of its recent gains. Imperva avoided the selloff, closing down just 0.2%.
    • ETF: HACK
    | 4 Comments
  • Tue, Apr. 7, 2:41 PM
    • Hoping to counter next-gen firewall leader Palo Alto Networks (PANW +2.7%), threat-prevention hardware/software leader FireEye (FEYE +4.5%), other smaller/share-gaining enterprise security firms, Cisco (CSCO +1.2%) has refreshed its ASA firewall line and rolled out new malware-protection and incident-response services.
    • New ASA next-gen firewalls (feature technology obtained through the SourceFire acquisition) are declared to provide mid-sized firms and branch offices "with the same advanced malware protection and threat detection capabilities" enjoyed by enterprises. They combine standard firewall support with app visibility/control, malware protection, and intrusion prevention features; managed security services are provided for extra.
    • AMP Threat Grid, a malware-protection solution made possible by the ThreatGRID acquisition, combines malware analysis with threat intelligence (based on behavioral indicators and a knowledge base); it's available either as a cloud service or through an on-premise appliance based on Cisco's UCS servers. Meanwhile, new incident-response services help companies probe and respond to cyberattacks. Cisco has already been rapidly adding to its security service portfolio.
    • Cisco's security product revenue rose 6% Y/Y in the January quarter to $416M; Palo Alto and FireEye respectively saw 54% and 150% sales growth in their most recent quarters (the latter was boosted by M&A). Palo Alto recently launched a threat intelligence service (AutoFocus) to complement its popular WildFire threat-detection service. FireEye offers a slew of threat-prevention/intelligence services, and has been hired to probe several high-profile cyberattacks.
    • Shares of all three companies are higher on an up day for equities.
    | 4 Comments
  • Wed, Apr. 1, 2:57 PM
    • Several security tech plays are seeing profit-taking on a down day for tech. Palo Alto Networks (PANW -4.3%), FireEye (FEYE -3.4%), Imperva (IMPV -3.5%), Fortinet (FTNT -3.1%), and Proofpoint (PFPT -3%) are the biggest decliners.
    • The decline comes as Pres. Obama announces an executive order authorizing "targeted sanctions against individuals or entities whose actions in cyberspace result in significant threats to the national security, foreign policy, economic health or financial stability of the United States."
    • Obama, whose administration has already rolled out several executive actions/proposals aimed at helping businesses and government agencies defend against security breaches, goes as far as to call cyberattacks a "national emergency." His latest move comes 3 months after a massive Sony Pictures hack blamed on North Korea.
    • ETF: HACK
    • Yesterday: Palo Alto expands VMware alliance, launches new service
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  • Tue, Mar. 31, 7:26 PM
    • In the wake of yesterday's analyst day, Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) has announced it's expanding its partnership with server virtualization kingpin VMware (NYSE:VMW) to cover mobile security.
    • The companies plan to integrate VMware's AirWatch enterprise mobility management platform (acquired last year) with Palo Alto's next-gen firewalls, WildFire threat-detection service (seeing rapid growth), and GlobalProtect mobile security service.
    • They're also offering an iOS VPN app that uses GlobalProtect to create a secure connection between AirWatch-managed devices and Palo Alto firewalls, so as to improve traffic inspection and policy enforcement. In 2014, Palo Alto and VMware announced a solution that combines Palo Alto's virtualized (software-based) next-gen firewall with VMware's NSX SDN/networking virtualization platform.
    • Also unveiled by Palo Alto: AutoFocus, a cyber threat intelligence service that gives IT security personnel "instant access to actionable intelligence derived from billions of file analysis artifacts" from data collected by 5K+ entities targeted by cyber attacks. The solution, which takes aim at FireEye's Mandiant unit and others, follows the September launch of a new endpoint security service, and comes amid strong corporate interest in better threat intelligence.
    • Not surprisingly (given recent sell-side bullishness), reactions to Palo Alto's analyst day have been positive. FBR: "[W]e feel that the company is doing the right things at the right time with 'red-hot' growth prospects given execution acumen, a laser-focused growth strategy, and expanding total addressable market." Pac Crest has praised AutoFocus' ability to leverage the huge amounts of user data Palo Alto collects from its customers.
    • Separately, CRN reports VMware is thinking of hiring a global sales chief, in part to boost sales of its huge enterprise license agreements (ELAs). ELAs accounted for 39% of VMware's Q4 bookings; the company is two months removed from providing light Q1/2015 guidance.
    | 2 Comments
  • Fri, Mar. 27, 3:12 PM
    • Today's notable tech gainers include next-gen firewall leader Palo Alto Networks (PANW +3.5%), touchscreen tech developer UniPixel (UNXL +5.9%), solar microinverter leader Enphase (ENPH +5.8%), optical transport/switching hardware vendor Infinera (INFN +3.8%), telecom service/analytics provider Neustar (NSR +4.4%), and Chinese online classifieds leader 58.com (WUBA +4%). The Nasdaq is up 0.3%
    • There are relatively few major decliners today. The group includes Infinera rival Ciena (CIEN -4.5%), Chinese sports lottery site 500.com (WBAI -5.3%), and Chinese online video leader Youku (YOKU -3.4%).
    • Palo Alto is adding to Thursday gains seen amid a broader cybersecurity stock rally. Likewise, Enphase gained on Thursday following rival SolarEdge's IPO, Neustar gained after announcing a $150M buyback, and Infinera gained following a bullish MKM note.
    • Ciena is reversing the Tuesday gains seen after Stifel reported the company's share of a major Verizon 100G metro contract (has been officially announced) could be larger than expected. 500.com is giving back major Thursday gains; yesterday morning, SA Instablog author/former i-banker MNS Global reported hearing Chinese authorities are thinking of indefinitely extending recently-placed bans on online sports lottery sales, after uncovering corruption.
    • Previously covered: EMC, HP, Voxeljet, Skyworks, SuperCom, Stratasys, Qunar, Pandora, SanDisk
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  • Thu, Mar. 26, 2:44 PM
    • Though the Nasdaq is nearly flat today, many security tech plays are rallying. CyberArk (CYBR +4.6%) is a standout, adding to Monday's post-lockup gains. So are Qualys (QLYS +4.7%), Vasco (VDSI +3.8%), and Proofpoint (PFPT +4.3%). Palo Alto Networks (PANW +1.8%), Fortinet (FTNT +1.9%), and Imperva (IMPV +2.2%) are up more moderately.
    • Possibly helping the group: The House Intelligence Committee has unanimously passed a cybersecurity bill that will make it easier for companies to share information about attacks without risking lawsuits. A full House vote could happen by late April, and the Senate is working on a similar bill. The White House recently floated its own cybersecurity initiatives.
    • Yesterday, FBR's Daniel Ives (bullish on the space for some time) forecast spending on "next-generation" security solutions will rise 25% this year, up from a prior 20% estimate. He thinks less than 10% of companies have fully invested in next-gen offerings, and sees evidence of a "surge in deal flow with a major upgrade cycle underway in 2015, as enterprises and governments 'fast track' cybersecurity initiatives across the board."
    • Ives expects FireEye (FEYE +0.7%), Palo Alto, Fortinet, and Proofpoint to benefit from the trend, which he isn't sqeamish about hyping. "This once-in-a-multi-decade upgrade opportunity is poised to be a rising tide for all security boats ... with legacy security solutions no longer 'good enough' and next-generation products well positioned to replace traditional firewall and endpoint vendors over the coming years."
    • ETF: HACK
    • Previously: Three cybersecurity companies reportedly planning $1B+ IPOs
    | 1 Comment
  • Tue, Mar. 10, 2:55 PM
    • Security tech plays, several of which were huge gainers in February, have been hard hit (HACK -2.6%) amid a market selloff. Major decliners include FireEye (FEYE -4%), CyberArk (CYBR -6.6%), Proofpoint (PFPT -4.7%), and Vasco (VDSI -5.5%). Imperva is off sharply after announcing a 3M-share offering.
    • FBN Shebly Seyrafi reiterated his bullish stance on the group today, forecasting security IT spend will grow 14% this year (up from 2014's 11%). Palo Alto Networks (PANW -0.5%) and Fortinet (FTNT -2.4%) are his favorites due to positive checks, but he also likes other names, mentioning FireEye and Check Point (CHKP -0.2%) in particular. Palo Alto and Check Point are seeing only modest losses.
    • Earlier today, Check Point launched Threat Extraction, a malware-protection tool that proactively extracts and reconstructs documents traveling over a network with known safe elements (so as to remove the threat of malware). The product launch, which furthers Check Point's efforts to grow its software exposure, follows the company's purchase of threat-prevention software startup Hyperwise.
    | 7 Comments
  • Tue, Mar. 3, 7:24 PM
    • Though Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) opened lower today in the wake of its FQ2 beat and strong FQ3 guidance, shares gradually moved higher and finished up 2%, making new highs in the process. A slew of positive analyst notes - at least 11 firms hiked their targets, many to the $165-$170 range - helped the next-gen firewall vendor's cause.
    • "We believe Palo Alto is the best-positioned vendor in the space and will continue taking market share at the expense of all other vendors," writes Piper's Andrew Nowinski in one of the upbeat notes. He observes over 1,500 new customers were added (bringing the total base above 22.5K), and that over 1K customers were added for the WildFire threat-protection service (bringing the base above 5K).
    • Imperial Capital's Ashok Kumar: "PANW’s ability to upsell into its installed base and sell additional services is key to our investment thesis ... In addition to strong results, the company reported improving leverage. Operating margins of 12.4% compares to [Palo Alto's] target model of 22-25% over the next six quarters."
    • On the CC (transcript), CEO Mark McLaughlin mentioned Palo Alto's customer base now includes 916 Global 2000 companies, and that "dozens" of customers were added for his company's recently-launched Traps endpoint protection service. On the hardware side, the high-end PA-7050 firewall (up to 120Gbps of throughput) remains a strong point.
    | 2 Comments
  • Mon, Mar. 2, 4:33 PM
    • In addition to beating FQ2 estimates, Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) is guiding for FQ3 revenue of $219M-$223M (+45-48% Y/Y) and EPS of $0.19-$0.20, mostly above a consensus of $214.2M and $0.19 and possibly conservative given the company's history. Nonetheless, with shares having risen 29% since Palo Alto's Nov. 24 FQ1 beat as of today's close (and up over 150% from their 52-week low), investors are taking the numbers in stride for now.
    • FQ2 billings totaled $282.8M, +51% Y/Y and well above revenue of $217.7M; growth was nearly even with FQ1's 52%. The deferred revenue balance (inc. long-term deferred revenue) rose 65% Y/Y to $535.8M.
    • Product revenue (revolves around next-gen firewalls) +43% Y/Y to $115.6M. Services revenue (boosted by WildFire and other subscription services) +29% to $102M. 47% of all revenue came from recurring services.
    • Not counting a $20M year-ago legal payment, GAAP operating expenses rose 63% Y/Y to $196.8M (compares with 54% revenue growth). Sales/marketing spend totaled $122.9M, R&D $46.9M, and G&A $27M.
    • PANW -0.7% AH to $145.00.
    • FQ2 results, PR
    | Comment!
  • Mon, Mar. 2, 4:08 PM
    • Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW): FQ2 EPS of $0.19 beats by $0.02.
    • Revenue of $217.65M (+54.3% Y/Y) beats by $13.65M.
    • Shares +0.58%.
    • Press Release
    | 1 Comment
  • Sun, Mar. 1, 5:35 PM
  • Mon, Feb. 23, 11:52 AM
    • With shares having more than doubled in February as of Friday's close, JPMorgan has downgraded CyberArk (CYBR -11.8%) to Underweight, and is reiterating a $42 target.
    • JPMorgan: "Closing at just over $70 the stock is trading at roughly 9.7x our best upside scenario for 2016 revenue that we outline (…) It is not that we think the company cannot reach these estimates, but rather this level of upside appears to already be factored into the stock at these levels."
    • Security tech peers FireEye (FEYE -4.4%), Palo Alto Networks (PANW -2.4%), Imperva (IMPV -3.8%), and Vasco (VDSI -3.1%) are following CyberArk lower. The group has rallied strongly in recent weeks.
    | 10 Comments
  • Fri, Feb. 20, 4:42 PM
    | 17 Comments
  • Wed, Feb. 18, 1:13 PM
    • Check Point (CHKP +0.5%) has acquired Hyperwise, a stealth-mode Israeli startup declared to have "developed a unique and cutting-edge CPU-level threat prevention engine that eliminates threats at the point of pre-infection." Calcalist reports the purchase price is $80M.
    • Check Point asserts Hyperwise's software "provides a higher catch rate of threats and provides organizations an unmatched level of protection against attackers," in part by blocking malware before it become active on a network, and that its CPU-level blocking can stop previously undetected attacks. It will be added to Check Point's Threat Emulation solution, which runs suspect code in a virtual sandbox to determine if it's a malicious.
    • FireEye (NASDAQ:FEYE), whose virtual sandbox solution has often been praised, is arguably the leader in the threat-prevention space. Next-gen firewall vendor Check Point rival Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) is also going after the market, aided by technology obtained from startup Cyvera. Corporate interest has been growing rapidly following a string of well-publicized hacks.
    | Comment!
  • Fri, Feb. 13, 2:50 AM
    • President Obama is poised to sign an executive order today aimed at encouraging companies to share more information about cybersecurity threats with the government and each other.
    • The order will set the stage for new private-sector led information sharing and analysis organizations, called ISAOs, where companies share cyber threat data with each other and the Department of Homeland Security.
    • The move comes as big Silicon Valley companies prove hesitant to fully support more mandated cybersecurity information sharing without reforms to government surveillance practices.
    • KEYW, CUDA, PFPT, FEYE +0.5%, PANW +1.3%, QLYS +3% CYBR +18.5% AH
    • ETFs: HACK +4.7% AH
    | 23 Comments
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Company Description
Palo Alto Networks Inc offers an enterprise network security platform that allows enterprises, service providers, and government entities to secure their networks and safely enable applications running on their networks.