Palo Alto Networks Files Registration for IPO

The network security company and developer of GlobalProtect and WildFire services files its registration for an IPO.

Network security specialist Palo Alto Networks filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission relating to the proposed initial public offering of its common stock. In its S-1 filing, Palo Alto Networks revealed the company is looking to raise up to $175 million from the IPO.

Founded in 2005, Palo Alto Networks is experiencing rapid growth, the company said in the filing. Palo Alto more than doubled its revenue intake from last year, but has not yet turned a profit, according to the filing. The company posted a loss of $12.5 million in its fiscal 2011, though revenue soared to $118.6 million in 2011 from $48.8 million in 2010.

The number of shares to be sold and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined, according to a statement released by the company.

Morgan Stanley & Co., Goldman, Sachs & Co., and Citigroup Global Markets will act as lead joint book-running managers for the offering, and Credit Suisse, Barclays, UBS Securities, and Raymond James & Associates will act as book-running managers for the offering, the statement noted. The company also said that a registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, but has not yet become effective, noting the securities may not be sold nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the time that the registration statement becomes effective.

Growth Prospects

Based on the company€™s App-ID technology, Palo Alto Networks firewalls identify and control applications, regardless of port, protocol, evasive tactic or Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption, and scan content to stop threats and prevent data leakage. Most recently, the company has enabled enterprises to extend network security to remote users with the release of GlobalProtect and to combat targeted malware with its WildFire service.

A January report published by Palo Alto Networks indicated explosive growth in global social networking and browser-based file sharing on corporate networks, with a 300 percent increase in active social networking (e.g., posting, applications), compared with activity during the same period in the latter half of 2010. File-sharing sites continue to be used on most networks, appearing on the networks of 92 percent of the participating organizations.

In total, 65 different browser-based file-sharing variants were found with an average of 13 being used in each of the analyzed organizations. The report also explores a variety of risks associated with browser-based file-sharing applications, which varies by application and use case. €œHowever, the use of evasive techniques by these applications implies that they are often operating unchecked on corporate networks,€ the report noted.

René Bonvanie, chief marketing officer at Palo Alto Networks, said at the time of the report's release that whether employees are using social networks or sharing files at work is no longer a question as the research shows users are clearly embracing and actively using such applications. "Companies must determine how to safely enable these technologies on their networks so that users can maintain the levels of productivity that many of these applications can afford, while at the same time ensuring that their corporate networks and users are protected against all threats,€ Bonvanie explained at the time.