Palo Alto Networks Plummets After Earnings, 'execution Challenges' Cited

By Jeremy C. Owens Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Palo Alto Networks Inc. stock fell more than 15% in late trading Tuesday after an earnings report that disappointed on revenue, and the chief executive acknowledged execution issues. The security-software company reported a net loss of $60.6 million, or 67 cents a share, on sales of $422.6 million for its fiscal second quarter. After adjustments for stock-based compensation and other factors, Palo Alto Networks claimed a profit of 63 cents a share. Analysts polled by FactSet on average projected adjusted earnings of 62 cents a share on sales of $430 million in the quarter. "While fiscal second quarter revenue of $423 million was yet another record for the company, we were disappointed that we came in below top-line expectations due to some execution challenges, which we are moving quickly to address," CEO Mark McLaughlin said in Tuesday's announcement. The company also missed with its forecast for the current quarter, which calls for adjusted earnings of 54 to 56 cents a share on revenue of $406 million to $416 million. Analysts on average expected adjusted profit of 70 cents a share on sales of $455 million. Palo Alto Networks also announced the $105 million acquisition of data-analytics startup LightCyber as well as an increase in its stock-repurchase authorization, to $1 billion from $500 million. Palo Alto Networks stock dropped lower than $129 in late trading after closing with a 1.3% decline at $151.90.

Continue Reading Below

Copyright © 2017 MarketWatch, Inc.