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Why Palo Alto Networks Stock Jumped 16% in August

By Demitri Kalogeropoulos – Updated Sep 3, 2021 at 9:04AM

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The cybersecurity specialist sees a bright fiscal year ahead following a banner 2021.

What happened

Palo Alto Networks (PANW -1.17%) shareholders beat a rising market last month. The stock gained 16% in August compared to a 1.2% boost in the S&P 500, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. The rally was due to the cybersecurity specialist's well-received earnings report.

So what

Sales rose 28% in the fiscal fourth quarter, which marked an acceleration over the prior quarter's result while beating management's forecast. The software-as-a-service giant also notched improved profitability and strong cash flow, in part thanks to an influx of large contracts from major customers.

A person at work in front of a computer screen.

Image source: Getty Images.

"We are pleased to deliver strength across all the key total shareholder return drivers," CFO Dipak Golechha said in a press release.

Now what

Wall Street was even happier with Palo Alto Networks' short-term growth outlook that sees revenue rising over 24% in the fiscal year that just began. Adjusted earnings should land at between $7.15 per share and $7.25 per share, too, up from $6.14 per share last year and $4.88 per share in 2019.

Executives hinted more good news to come with Palo Alto Networks' annual investor conference. Set for Sept. 13, that meeting will include an update to management's long-term growth and earnings goals.

Given the strong multi-year trajectory for the business, that update is likely to include raised estimates for the cybersecurity industry, and for Palo Alto Networks' own potential within that space.

Demitri Kalogeropoulos has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Palo Alto Networks. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Stocks Mentioned

Palo Alto Networks Stock Quote
Palo Alto Networks
PANW
$158.90 (-1.17%) $-1.88

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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