Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) and AstroNova (NASDAQ:ALOT) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, risk, earnings, dividends, institutional ownership, valuation and profitability.
Volatility & Risk
Palo Alto Networks has a beta of 1.22, meaning that its share price is 22% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, AstroNova has a beta of 0.11, meaning that its share price is 89% less volatile than the S&P 500.
AstroNova pays an annual dividend of $0.28 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.4%. Palo Alto Networks does not pay a dividend. AstroNova pays out 44.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.
Earnings & Valuation
This table compares Palo Alto Networks and AstroNova’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.
||Earnings Per Share
|Palo Alto Networks
AstroNova has lower revenue, but higher earnings than Palo Alto Networks. Palo Alto Networks is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than AstroNova, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.
This table compares Palo Alto Networks and AstroNova’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.
||Return on Equity
||Return on Assets
|Palo Alto Networks
Insider and Institutional Ownership
80.1% of Palo Alto Networks shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 57.0% of AstroNova shares are owned by institutional investors. 3.1% of Palo Alto Networks shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 10.4% of AstroNova shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.
This is a summary of recent recommendations for Palo Alto Networks and AstroNova, as provided by MarketBeat.com.
||Strong Buy Ratings
|Palo Alto Networks
Palo Alto Networks presently has a consensus target price of $241.03, suggesting a potential upside of 31.65%. Given Palo Alto Networks’ higher possible upside, equities analysts clearly believe Palo Alto Networks is more favorable than AstroNova.
AstroNova beats Palo Alto Networks on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.
About Palo Alto Networks
Palo Alto Networks, Inc. provides security platform solutions worldwide. The company provides firewall appliances and software; Panorama, a security management solution for the control of appliances deployed on an end-customer's network as a virtual or a physical appliance; and Virtual System Upgrades, which are available as extensions to the virtual system capacity that ships with physical appliances. It also offers subscription services covering the areas of threat prevention, uniform resource locator filtering, malware and persistent threat, laptop and mobile device protection, and firewall, as well as cyber-attack, threat intelligence, and content control. In addition, the company provides support services; and professional services, including application traffic management, solution design and planning, configuration, and firewall migration, as well as online and classroom-style education training services. Palo Alto Networks, Inc. sells its products and services through its channel partners, as well as directly to medium to large enterprises, service providers, and government entities operating in various industries, including education, energy, financial services, government entities, healthcare, Internet and media, manufacturing, public sector, and telecommunications. The company was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Santa Clara, California.
AstroNova, Inc. designs, develops, manufactures, and distributes specialty printers, and data acquisition and analysis systems in the United States, Canada, Asia, Europe, Central and South America, and internationally. The company operates through two segments, Product Identification and Test & Measurement (T&M). The Product Identification segment offers tabletop and work cell-ready digital color label printers; specialty OEM printing systems; and labels, tags, inks, toner, and thermal transfer ribbons under the QuickLabel brand. This segment also offers T2-C, an inkjet table top label press; T2, a parent of the T2-C; T4 for print, die cut, and lamination; and T3, a customizable label production and finishing press under the TrojanLabel brand. In addition, this segment sells various specialized software used to operate the printers and presses, design labels, and manage printing on an automated basis. It serves chemicals, cosmetics, food and beverage, medical products, pharmaceuticals, and other industries, as well as brand owners, label converters, commercial printers, and packaging manufacturers. The T&M segment offers visual data from local and networked data streams and sensors; a range of hardware and software products under the AstroNova T&M brand; Daxus portable data acquisition systems; TMX high-speed data acquisition systems; DDX100 SmartCorder portable data acquisition systems; EV-500, a digital strip chart recording system; PTA-45B cockpit printers; and ToughWriter, Miltope, and RITEC branded airborne printers. Its AstroNova airborne printers are used in flight decks, as well as military, commercial, and business aircraft cabins; and ToughSwitch Ethernet switches used in military aircraft and vehicles. The company was formerly known as Astro-Med, Inc. and changed its name to AstroNova, Inc. in May 2016. The company was founded in 1969 and is headquartered in West Warwick, Rhode Island.
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