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Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) recently won a deal over its competitor McAfee (NYSE:MFE) to provide its Norton Suite of antivirus software to Comcast’s (NASDAQ:CMCSA) 15 million high speed internet customers. Although we forecast Symantec’s antivirus market share to decline, the Comcast deal could slow the rate of decline and even help Symantec gain share if it leads to new partnerships with other internet service providers.

Below we explain the significance of Norton software for Symantec and how Symantec antivirus market share is expected to trend.

Norton constitutes 33% of Symantec’s stock price

Symantec provides security software to both consumers and businesses that help them block malicious software and spam emails as well as provide protection from phishing programs. Norton Antivirus is the most popular Symantec software product among consumers and we estimate that it constitutes around one-third of the $24 Trefis price estimate for Symantec’s stock.

Symantec’s market share in consumer antivirus market to decline to 47%

Though Symantec leads the consumer antivirus market, it has lost market share to McAfee over the last few years. Symantec’s Share in Consumer Antivirus Software Market has declined from 53% in 2008 to 52% in 2009 due to the software’s high resource requirement demand, which affects PC performance, and has resulted in dissatisfaction amongst some customers.

To retain its customers base, Symantec launched newer versions of Norton – Norton Internet Security 2010 and Norton Antivirus – that have won the company more than 50 awards in the first four months after launch. Despite this, we currently expect Symantec’s share in consumer antivirus software market to decline to 47% by the end of Trefis forecast period primarily for two reasons:

  1. Symantec antivirus products are more expensive than many competing products
  2. Symantec’s products still have a negative reputation amongst consumers despite improvements in new products

Deals with ISPs Like Comcast Can Help

The Comcast deal provides Symantec access to a large internet user base. In addition to Comcast, Symantec recently renewed a multi-year agreement to provide security to Deutsche Telekom’s T-home internet customers in Europe. We believe that deals with internet service providers like Comcast and Deutsche Telekom can slow Symantec’s share declines.

You can modify our forecast above to see how Symantec’s stock would be impacted if its market share declines were less than we forecast.

Disclosure: None

Source: How Comcast Deal Could Slow Symantec's Market Share Decline