Palo Alto Networks (PANW) Stock Higher Today After Discovering Malware in Apple (AAPL) Systems

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Palo Alto Networks Inc. (PANW) are up 1.39% to $103.95 in pre-market trading after discovering a new family of malware that can infect Apple's (AAPL) desktop and mobile operating systems, underscoring the increasing sophistication of attacks on iPhones and Mac computers, Reuters reports.

The "WireLurker" malware can install third-party applications on regular, non-jailbroken iOS devices and hop from infected Macs onto iPhones through USB connector-cables, the network security company told Reuters.

Palo Alto Networks said on Wednesday it had seen indications that the attackers were Chinese, Reuters added, saying, the malware originated from a Chinese third-party apps store and appeared to have mostly affected users within the country.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates PALO ALTO NETWORKS INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate PALO ALTO NETWORKS INC (PANW) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed--some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow."

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

  • PANW's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 3.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 58.6%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, PANW's share price has jumped by 143.73%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, our hold rating indicates that we do not recommend additional investment in this stock despite its gains in the past year.
  • PANW's debt-to-equity ratio of 1.00 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio shows mixed results, the company's quick ratio of 2.61 is very high and demonstrates very strong liquidity.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Communications Equipment industry and the overall market, PALO ALTO NETWORKS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$26.15 million or 162.66% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: PANW Ratings Report

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