Earnings in the Spotlight for Palo Alto Networks, Inc. (NYSE:PANW)

Sell-side analysts are projecting that Palo Alto Networks, Inc. (NYSE:PANW) will report a current quarter EPS of 1.25 when the company issues their next quarterly report. This is the consensus number according to data provided by Zacks Research. This estimate is using projections given by 17 sell-side analysts. Last quarter, the company posted a quarterly EPS of 1.51. How the estimated EPS differs from the actual earnings number is what investors will be paying particularly close attention to. Analysts covering the stock are typically very busy during earnings season. Before the release, they might be reviewing and updating estimates. After the earnings release, they will closely review the reported data and update accordingly. Sifting through the numbers after the report may allow investors to add another piece of data to the investing equation.

Active investors are constantly weighing risk and return when trading in the stock market. Every investor has to evaluate their risk appetite at some point. The amount of risk an investor is willing to take on can have a large impact on expected future returns. Some people may be much more comfortable with riskier investments than others. This can greatly vary from one person to the next. Once the individual investor is comfortable with the amount of money on the table, they should be able to spend their energies focused on finding a winning strategy. Finding a winning strategy may involve many different aspects of stock research. Following a plan may help investors plow through downturns in the markets, and being able to change the plan when things aren’t working can also be a help to longer-term portfolio health.

Taking a look at some target price information, we note that shares of Palo Alto Networks, Inc. (NYSE:PANW) presently have an average target price of $271.75. This is the consensus target price using estimates offered by analysts polled by Zacks Research. Sell-side analysts can calculate price target projections using various methods. Many investors will track stock target prices, especially when analysts make changes to the target. A thorough research report will generally give detailed reasoning for a certain target projection. Some investors may watch sell-side targets very closely and use the data to help with their own stock research.

Let’s shift the focus and look at some historical stock price action on shares of Palo Alto Networks, Inc. (NYSE:PANW). After a recent market scan, we have seen that the stock has been trading near the $249.79 level. Investors may also be tracking the current stock price in relation to its 52-week high and low. The 52-week high is currently sitting at $254.88, and the 52-week low is $163.44. When the stock starts moving towards the 52-week high or 52-week low, investors may pay added attention to see if there will be a breakthrough that level. Over the last 12 weeks, the stock has moved 37.04%. Since the beginning of the calendar year, we can see that shares have changed 32.62%. Over the past 4 weeks, shares have moved 10.44%. Over the previous 5 sessions, the stock has moved 2.9%.

Sell-side Street analysts often offer stock ratings for companies that they cover. Based on analysts polled by Zacks Research, the present average broker rating on shares of Palo Alto Networks, Inc. (NYSE:PANW) is presently 1.31. This average rating includes analysts who have given Sell, Buy and Hold ratings on the equity. This rating uses a numerical recommendation scale from 1 to 5. A score of 1 would represent a Buy recommendation, and a score of 5 would indicate a Sell recommendation. Out of all the analysts providing recommendations, 23 have rated the stock a Strong Buy or Buy, based on data provided by Zacks Research.

Investors are constantly striving to get on top in the stock market. Everyone wants to find that next winner to jumpstart the portfolio. Investors often identify risk preference when trying to sort out asset allocation. Typically, a greater amount of risk may provide a greater chance for growth. Many investors may struggle with the concept of keeping emotion out of choosing stocks. Equity research often requires a high degree of patience, dedication, and practice. Learning everything possible about the markets can help the individual build a good base to work with. Being able to sort out the data to determine what is relevant information can help with those tough investment decisions.

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