Palo Alto Networks shares drop as billings guidance falls short; Seen as a 'minor speed bump'

November 15, 2023 4:21 PM EST
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Price: $316.15 --0%

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(Updated - November 16, 2023 5:42 AM EST)

Palo Alto Networks (NASDAQ: PANW) shares fell 6% in pre-open Thursday after posting solid first-quarter results but issuing second-quarter and full-year billing guidance below estimates.

The company reported that total revenue for the first quarter grew 20% year-over-year to $1.9 billion, beating the consensus of $1.84 billion. Non-GAAP net income was $1.38, up from $0.83 last year and above the consensus of $1.16.

For the second quarter, the company sees revenue of $1.955-$1.985 billion, versus the consensus of $1.97 billion. However, total billings is seen in the range of $2.335-$2.385 billion, below the consensus of $2.43 billion. The company sees non-GAAP net income per share of $1.29 to $1.31, versus the consensus of $1.25.

For the full year, the company sees revenue in the range of $8.15-$8.20 billion, versus the consensus of $8.18 billion. Total billings for the year are seen between $10.7-$10.8 billion, versus its prior view of $10.9-$11 billion and the consensus of $10.96 billion. They see non-GAAP net income per share in the range of $5.40 to $5.53, versus the consensus of $5.33.

"An unprecedented level of attacks is fueling strong demand in the cybersecurity market," said Nikesh Arora, chairman and CEO of Palo Alto Networks. "We continue to execute on platformization as customers recognize the benefits we can provide in simplifying security architectures and driving better security outcomes."

"Our revenue, next-generation security ARR, and cRPO metrics best represent our top-line performance in Q1, while our billings were impacted by the cost of money," said Dipak Golechha, chief financial officer of Palo Alto Networks. "Our record cash flow generation and strong Q1 non-GAAP operating margin, illustrate our commitment to driving profitable growth."

Morgan Stanley analyst Hamza Fodderwala said the billing miss is just a "minor speed bump on the path to $100 billion."

"Durable 20% revenue and FCF growth was overshadowed by slight billings miss due to lower invoice duration, while overall demand is healthy. Bull thesis intact as growth remains resilient and well above peers in a hardware downcycle," the analyst said.

As a result, he remains convicted in "$100B mkt cap ($300+ stock) in 6-12 months."

Oppenheimer analyst Ittai Kidron also remains bullish on the stock.

"We view the billings miss as cosmetic, and remain bullish on the outlook as "platformization" of Palo Alto's portfolio can successfully deliver sustainable profitable growth across multiple avenues (SASE, Cloud security, SIEM/SOAR, AI-led security etc.)."

Shares of PANW were up 84% year-to-date into the results.

By Staff

Additional reporting by Senad Karaahmetovic

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