Palo Alto Networks surges as next-gen enterprise players eye IPOs

Enterprise tech IPOs have fared better than household names such as Groupon, Zynga and Facebook when the dust settles.

Palo Alto Networks enjoyed a successful first day as a public company following ServiceNow's market debut a few weeks earlier. Add it up and a new enterprise stack, which will form more when Workday goes public, is being created.

For enterprise startups, the IPO is a rite of passage. For starters, an IPO lends the company more credibility. In addition, customers don't have to check a privately-held vendor's financial health. The financial details are all in the regulatory filings and earnings reports.

With that backdrop, it's worth noting that Workday will go public later this year. Workday will be the crescendo of an enterprise IPO spurt. Consider:

  • Palo Alto Networks, which provides network security software, priced 6.2 million shares at $42 and last traded at $56.20 in a healthy debut.
  • ServiceNow priced 11.7 million shares at $18 on June 28.
  • Tangoe priced 8.8 million shares at $10. Tangoe offers expense management software as a service.
  • Guidewire Software priced 8.85 million shares at $13. Guidewire's software and services are aimed at making insurance processing more efficient.
  • Jive Software priced 13.44 million shares at $12. Jive is an enterprise social networking outfit.

None of these companies are household names, but have fared much better in the aftermarket than flashier technology players such as Groupon, Zynga and yes, Facebook. In fact, those aforementioned enterprises players are all above their offering prices by a healthy margin.


Meanwhile, the financial pictures for these enterprise IPOs are solid. Palo Alto Networks reported a profit of $5.33 million on revenue of $179.5 million for the nine months ended April 30.

Bottom line: If you have to play the IPO market it's prudent to look at business technology instead of going for the latest greatest consumer play.


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