What happened

Shares of Palo Alto Networks Inc. (NYSE:PANW) jumped 12.8% in the month of June, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence, after the network security specialist revealed strong fiscal third-quarter 2017 results.

So what

Palo Alto stock skyrocketed nearly 17% on June 1, 2017, alone -- the first trading day after its official quarterly release. More specifically, Palo Alto Networks confirmed that quarterly revenue had climbed 24.9% year over year to $431.8 million, while adjusted earnings per share increased 32.6% to $0.61. Both figures compared favorably to guidance provided three months earlier, when Palo Alto Networks had told investors to expect significantly lower revenue of $406 million to $416 million and earnings per share of just $0.54 to $0.56. CEO Mark McLaughlin noted that Palo Alto Networks added the second-highest number of new customers in company history during the quarter.

Palo Alto Networks conference booth


McLaughlin elaborated, "The integrated and highly automated prevention capabilities of our next-generation security platform continue to differentiate us in the market as we help our customers protect our digital way of life."

Now what

In addition, Palo Alto Networks offered guidance for current-quarter revenue to increase 20% to 23%, or to a range of $481 million to $491 million, with adjusted earnings of $0.78 to $0.80 per share. Wall Street was looking for adjusted earnings of just $0.74 per share on revenue below the midpoint of that range.

Of course, we should also keep in mind this all but reversed Palo Alto Networks' losses after a disappointing earnings report on sales execution issues sent the stock plunging earlier this year. With strong customer additions last quarter indicating those execution issues are largely resolved, and with shares now up around 6% year to date, Palo Alto Networks stock may still have plenty of room to rise going forward.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.