February 25, 2016 / 8:59 PM / 2 years ago

Palo Alto's revenue beats Street on higher cyber security spending

(Reuters) - Cyber security company Palo Alto Networks Inc reported higher-than-expected second-quarter revenue as companies and governments spent more to protect themselves from cyber attacks.

Shares of the company rose 9.6 percent before being halted in afternoon trading on Thursday after StreetInsider.com revealed the earnings numbers before the company's scheduled announcement. (bit.ly/1WM6Epb)

Palo Alto, which went public in 2012 and provides internet security and malware analysis products, has been grabbing market share from traditional firewall suppliers.

Billings, defined as total revenue plus the change in deferred revenue, rose 62 percent to $459 million.

Palo Alto recently partnered with Honeywell International Inc to protect industrial facilities and also signed a deal with peer Proofpoint Inc to jointly provide security services to customers.

Palo Alto forecast a third-quarter profit of 41-42 cents per share and revenue of $335 million-$339 million. Analysts on average were expecting a profit of 45 cents per share and revenue of $334.6 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company’s net loss widened to $62.5 million, or 72 cents per share, in the second quarter ended Jan. 31, from $43 million, or 53 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 40 cents per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 39 cents.

Revenue rose to $334.7 million from $217.7 million, above analysts’ expectation of $318.3 million.

Reporting by Kshitiz Goliya in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Maju Samuel

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