Palo Alto Networks surges 19% on strong 4th-quarter earnings as cybersecurity sector booms

Palo Alto Networks Santa Clara, California August 17, 2017. Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
Palo Alto Networks shares surged to an all-time high Tuesday.

Fourth-quarter earnings beat expectations and the cybersecurity company raised its outlook for 2022.

Recent ransomware attacks have helped to boost both the cybersecurity sector and the company.

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After the cybersecurity company reported fourth quarter earnings that beat expectations and raised its forecast for 2022 in light of increasing cyberattacks on US companies, Palo Alto Networks shares surged to an all time high.

Palo Alto Networks shares rose nearly 19% to an intraday peak of $443.51 Tuesday. As of 11:50 AM, it was trading at $442.65, 18% more than the previous day. ET.

According to Refinitiv, the company earned $1.60 per share, compared with $1.44 that analysts expected, and generated $1.22 billion more than the $1.17 trillion expected.

In the meantime, revenue at Santa Clara, California-based company grew 28% in quarter ending July 31 compared with 24% in previous quarter.

"We've had several cybersecurity events over this quarter, against the background where we've witnessed supply chain attacks where bad actors attempt to hack into core infrastructure pieces which allows them to access enterprises or government systems," Nikesh Arora (CEO) said during the earnings conference. "The ransomware threat is on the rise."

Santa Clara, California-based company also forecasts that its revenue will rise to $5.275 billion to $5.325 trillion in 2022. This represents a 24% to 25% increase year-on-year.

Arora stated that Palo Alto Networks has approximately 300 additional ransomware readiness assessments, in addition to the 39 already completed.

"Over time we expect these engagements to enable us to increase product pull-through for our customers," he stated during the call. "As a company we have continued to work hard on increasing our presence among customers and negotiating larger deals with them."

According to Arora, supply chain constraints could play a role in the third or fourth quarter of next year. Palo Alto Networks, however, is raising the prices for its hardware products but only by a very small amount.