UPDATE 1-Palo Alto posts better-than-expected revenue, profit

(Adds details, shares)

Nov 20 (Reuters) - Palo Alto Networks Inc on Monday reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit, as it benefited from robust demand for its cloud-based security services.

Shares of the company, which also forecast a strong second quarter, were trading up nearly 6 percent after the bell on Monday.

The recent Equifax Inc data breach and the global ransomware attack have boosted sales of security software as companies invest heavily in protecting their computer networks.

Services revenue, which includes contract-based subscriptions, surged 36.2 percent to $319 million, accounting for more than half of its total revenue.

The company also promoted Kathy Bonanno as chief financial officer, replacing Steffan Tomlinson, whose retirement was announced in August.

Palo Alto, which has more than 45,000 customers worldwide, said it added 2,500 new customers in the quarter. Billings, defined as total revenue plus the change in deferred revenue, rose 15.4 percent to $596.5 million.

The company forecast current-quarter revenue of $518 million to $528 million, largely above analysts' average estimate of $519.89 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net loss widened to $64 million, or 70 cents per share, in the first quarter ended Oct. 31 from $56.9 million, or 63 cents per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, Palo Alto earned 74 cents per share, beating analysts' average estimate of 69 cents.

Revenue rose to $505.5 million from $398.1 million. Analysts had expected revenue of $489 million. (Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)