Palo Alto Networks shares plunge after company cuts full-year billings, revenue guidance

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Nikesh Arora, Palo Alto Networks
Adam Galica | CNBC

Shares of cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks plunged 19% in extended trading Tuesday, after the company reported a beat on the top and bottom lines but lowered its full-year guidance for revenue and billings.

Here’s how the company did compared to LSEG, formerly Refinitiv, estimates:

  • Earnings per share: $1.46, adjusted, vs. $1.30 expected
  • Revenue: $1.98 billion vs. $1.97 billion expected

Net income was $1.7 billion for the quarter, or $4.89 per share, compared to $84 million, or $0.25 share, for the fiscal second quarter 2023.

The company is now guiding to full-year total billings between $10.1 and $10.2 billion, compared to its previous guidance of $10.7 and $10.8 billion. Palo Alto Networks also expects full-year revenue to range between $7.95 to $8 billion, compared to its prior guidance of $8.15 to $8.2 billion.

In a conference call with analysts, CEO Nikesh Arora said the lowered guidance was due to a “shift” in strategy, “wanting to accelerate growth, our platform migration and consolidation and activating AI leadership,” adding that the company expected “a difficult customer” as the company shifted stance.

Guidance for the upcoming quarter also fell short of consensus estimates. Analysts surveyed by LSEG expected the company to guide to fiscal third-quarter revenue of $2.04 billion, but Palo Alto Networks now expects revenue to range between $1.95 billion and $1.98 billion.

The new billings guidance represents full-year growth of between 10% and 11% versus previous guidance showing 16% to 17% billings growth. Similarly, Palo Alto Networks now expects full-year revenue growth between 15% and 16%, down from initial guidance showing 18% to 19% growth.

The lowered estimates come even as the AI frenzy sweeps up cybersecurity stocks and the broader technology sector. Arora said that the company would look to activate its “AI leadership strategy” in the earnings release.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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