Palo Alto Networks Inc (PANW): Today's Featured Computer Hardware Laggard

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Palo Alto Networks ( PANW) pushed the Computer Hardware industry lower today making it today's featured Computer Hardware laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 1.4%. By the end of trading, Palo Alto Networks fell $1.18 (-1.8%) to $65.76 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 3,007,520 shares of Palo Alto Networks exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,248,500 shares. The stock ranged in price between $63.33-$69.97 after having opened the day at $67.30 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $66.94. Other companies within the Computer Hardware industry that declined today were: Echelon Corporation ( ELON), down 16.6%, Crossroads Systems ( CRDS), down 7.1%, Extreme Networks ( EXTR), down 3.7% and Fusion-io ( FIO), down 3.7%.

Palo Alto Networks, Inc. offers a network security platform in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Asia Pacific, and Japan. The company's platform comprises Next-Generation Firewall that delivers application, user, and content visibility and control. Palo Alto Networks has a market cap of $4.3 billion and is part of the technology sector. Shares are up 16.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Palo Alto Networks a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Palo Alto Networks as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

On the positive front, SMART Technologies ( SMT), up 28.1%, Imation Corporation ( IMN), up 14.6%, Acorn Energy ( ACFN), up 9.7% and Nimble Storage ( NMBL), up 6.4% , were all gainers within the computer hardware industry with EMC Corporation ( EMC) being today's featured computer hardware industry leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the computer hardware industry could consider iShares Dow Jones US Technology ( IYW) while those bearish on the computer hardware industry could consider ProShares Ultra Short Semiconductor ( SSG).

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