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Earnings Results: Palo Alto Networks stock rises on earnings beat, outlook hike

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Palo Alto Networks Inc. shares rose in the extended session Thursday after the cybersecurity company reported results that topped Wall Street estimates and hiked its outlook for the year.

Palo Alto Networks 
PANW,
+2.09%

 shares advanced 4.4% after hours, following a 2.1% gain in the regular session to close at $342.59.

The company reported a fiscal third-quarter loss of $145.1 million, or $1.50 a share, compared with a loss of $74.8 million, or 77 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings, which exclude share-based compensation charges and other items, were $1.38 a share, compared with $1.17 in the year-ago period.

Revenue rose to $1.07 billion from $869.4 million in the year-ago quarter. Billings, which reflects future business under contract, rose to $1.29 billion, compared with $1.02 billion a year ago,

Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast earnings of $1.29 a share on revenue of $1.06 billion and billings of $1.23 billion.

“The work-from-home shift earlier in the year and recent cybersecurity issues have increased the focus on security,” said Nikesh Arora, Palo Alto Networks chairman and chief executive, in a statement. “Coupled with good execution, this has driven great strength across our business, with Q3 billings growth accelerating to 27% year over year.”

Palo Alto Networks makes security software, a hot segment in the wake of high-profile hacks like the SolarWinds intrusion and the Colonial pipeline ransomware attack.

Palo Alto Networks expects adjusted fiscal-fourth quarter earnings of $1.42 to $1.44 a share on revenue of $1.17 billion to $1.18 billion, while analysts had forecast $1.41 a share on revenue of $1.16 billion. The company also expects billings of $1.7 billion to $1.72 billion, while analysts had forecast $1.62 billion.

For the year, Palo Alto Networks expects adjusted earnings of $5.97 to $5.99 a share on revenue of $5.28 billion to $5.3 billion, while analysts expect $5.86 a share on revenue of $4.18 billion. The company also sees billings of $5.28 billion to $5.30 billion, while analysts forecast $5.16 billion.

Palo Alto Networks shares are up 46% for the past 12 months. In comparison, the ETFMG Prime Cyber Security ETF 
HACK,
+1.70%

is up 34%, the S&P 500 index 
SPX,
+1.06%

is up 40%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index 
COMP,
+1.77%

 is up 44%.

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