What happened

Shares of Palo Alto Networks (PANW 2.99%) charged sharply higher Tuesday morning, surging as much as 12.2%. As of 11:35 a.m. ET, the stock is up 10.9%.

The catalyst that sent the cybersecurity specialist higher was the company's quarterly financial results, which were better than many investors expected.

So what

For its fiscal 2022 fourth quarter (ended July 31), Palo Alto Networks generated revenue of $1.6 billion, up 27% year over year, driven by strong momentum in enterprise deals. This resulted in adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $2.39, which surged 49%. According to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), the company was profitable for the first time in four years, and it expects to remain profitable in fiscal 2023. 

To give those numbers context, analysts' consensus estimates were calling for revenue of $1.5 billion and EPS of $2.28, so Palo Alto Networks easily cleared both hurdles. 

Total billings -- which includes contractually obligated sales that haven't yet been booked as revenue -- helps provide insight into ongoing growth prospects, and the future looks bright. Billings grew to $2.7 billion, up 44% year over year, and outpacing revenue growth, which suggests the company is well positioned to continue to deliver solid results.

Additionally, the board of directors authorized a 3-for-1 stock split. Each shareholder of record as of the close of business on Sep. 6, 2022 will receive two additional shares of stock for each share owned, which will be distributed after the close of business on Sept. 13. The stock will begin trading on a split-adjusted basis on Sept. 14.

Now what

Excitement about the upcoming stock split wasn't the only thing driving Palo Alto Networks higher, as the company provided robust guidance for the coming year. For fiscal 2023, management is guiding for revenue of $6.875 billion, up roughly 25% year over year, suggesting its growth spurt will continue. The company is also forecasting total billings of roughly $9 billion at the midpoint of its guidance, which would represent growth of about 20%.

Given the better-than-expected results and robust guidance, Palo Alto Networks is well positioned to continue its strong growth. This suggests the stock is a buy.