NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Apple (AAPL) - Get Report shares are retreating by 0.65% to $106.62 on Thursday morning, after the tech giant agreed to pay $348 million, or 318 million euros, to settle a probe into an alleged tax fraud in Italy, Re/code reports, citing Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

The investigation revealed that the company was moving profits generated in Italy to a subsidiary based in Ireland, where its European operations are headquartered, without paying tax.

In comparison to Italy's 27.5% corporate tax rate, Ireland has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the European Union--12.5%.

Specifically, Italian prosecutors alleged that Apple did not declare earnings in Italy from 2008 through 2013, Reuters noted. 

Apple Italia should have paid about 880 million euros in corporate tax over that time but instead paid just 30 million euros. 

Overall, the European Union and other national governments have been cracking the whip against profit-shielding arrangements used by multinational companies.

Recently, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author. TheStreet Ratings has this to say about the recommendation:

We rate APPLE INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, robust revenue growth, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • APPLE INC has improved earnings per share by 38.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, APPLE INC increased its bottom line by earning $9.20 versus $6.43 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($9.77 versus $9.20).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Computers & Peripherals industry average. The net income increased by 31.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $8,467.00 million to $11,124.00 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 25.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 22.3%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. When compared to other companies in the Computers & Peripherals industry and the overall market, APPLE INC's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500.
  • 45.95% is the gross profit margin for APPLE INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 21.59% is above that of the industry average.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: AAPL