Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Palo Alto Networks Inc. (NYSE:PANW) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a report issued on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “Palo Alto Networks allows firms, service providers and government bodies to impose tighter security measures through its network security platform. The company reported wider-than-expected loss in the first quarter. Revenues also missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The company also provided a tepid forthcoming revenue guidance. Also, for the past few quarters, Palo Alto has been witnessing increase in operating expenses due to stepped-up investments in research and development, and marketing strategies which have been offsetting the benefit of higher revenues. Going forward, a volatile spending environment and competition from Cisco Systems, Inc. and Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. remain concerns.”

PANW has been the subject of a number of other reports. Wunderlich reiterated a buy rating and set a $190.00 target price on shares of Palo Alto Networks in a research report on Tuesday, September 13th. Deutsche Bank AG restated a hold rating on shares of Palo Alto Networks in a research report on Saturday, October 15th. Pacific Crest restated an overweight rating and issued a $190.00 price target on shares of Palo Alto Networks in a research report on Monday, August 29th. Cleveland Research downgraded Palo Alto Networks from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 10th. Finally, BTIG Research restated a buy rating and issued a $210.00 price target on shares of Palo Alto Networks in a research report on Wednesday, August 31st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating, thirty-four have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Palo Alto Networks currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $180.06.

Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) opened at 133.58 on Thursday. The stock’s market capitalization is $12.25 billion. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $151.57 and its 200 day moving average is $140.38. Palo Alto Networks has a 1-year low of $111.09 and a 1-year high of $194.73.

Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) last posted its earnings results on Monday, November 21st. The network technology company reported $0.55 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.52 by $0.03. The firm earned $398.10 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $400.20 million. Palo Alto Networks had a negative return on equity of 35.75% and a negative net margin of 16.83%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 34.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.35 EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Palo Alto Networks will post $2.78 earnings per share for the current year.

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In related news, CEO Mark D. Mclaughlin sold 26,423 shares of Palo Alto Networks stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $144.29, for a total transaction of $3,812,574.67. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 540,880 shares in the company, valued at $78,043,575.20. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Steffan Tomlinson sold 2,332 shares of Palo Alto Networks stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $148.98, for a total value of $347,421.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 4.80% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Quantbot Technologies LP bought a new position in shares of Palo Alto Networks during the second quarter valued at $2,381,000. Tocqueville Asset Management L.P. boosted its position in shares of Palo Alto Networks by 7.4% in the second quarter. Tocqueville Asset Management L.P. now owns 83,440 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $10,233,000 after buying an additional 5,785 shares in the last quarter. Essex Investment Management Co. LLC boosted its position in shares of Palo Alto Networks by 3.8% in the second quarter. Essex Investment Management Co. LLC now owns 84,320 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $10,341,000 after buying an additional 3,116 shares in the last quarter. Trillium Asset Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Palo Alto Networks by 8.4% in the second quarter. Trillium Asset Management LLC now owns 117,742 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $14,440,000 after buying an additional 9,134 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Penserra Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Palo Alto Networks by 24.2% in the second quarter. Penserra Capital Management LLC now owns 223,416 shares of the network technology company’s stock valued at $27,400,000 after buying an additional 43,521 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 87.20% of the company’s stock.

About Palo Alto Networks

Palo Alto Networks, Inc is a security company. The Company’s security platform consists of three elements: its Next-Generation Firewall, its Advanced Endpoint Protection, and its Threat Intelligence Cloud. The Company’s Next-Generation Firewall delivers application, user, and content visibility and control, as well as protection against network-based cyber threats integrated within the firewall through its hardware and software architecture.

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