Tue, Nov. 17, 11:43 AM
- Reuters reports banks have withdrawn financing for the $8B sale (announced in August) of Symantec's (SYMC -0.2%) Veritas storage software unit to Carlyle (CG +0.1%). The sale has been expected to close by Jan. 1.
- Symantec hasn't moved much on the report. The market's original reaction to the deal was lukewarm, with Symantec's $1.5B+ expected tax bill sparking criticism. Symantec has promised a large chunk of the deal's $6.3B in expected net proceeds to shareholders, and has suggested it will use some of the remaining funds to make security acquisitions.
Thu, Nov. 5, 2:58 PM
- While many security tech peers sell off in response to FireEye's soft top-line results/guidance, Symantec (SYMC - unchanged) is nearly flat after beating FQ2 EPS estimates and posting in-line revenue.
- A $500M accelerated buyback has been authorized. It follows a $1.5B August increase to Symantec's buyback authorization to $2.6B. $250M was spent on buybacks over the first 6 months of FY16.
- Guidance has been provided for what will be left of Symantec (i.e. its security software ops) once the $8B sale of the company's Veritas storage software unit closes (expected by Jan. 1). The security ops are expected to have FQ3 revenue of $890M-$920M (-2% to -5% Y/Y exc. forex) and EPS of $0.22-$0.25, and FQ4 revenue of $885M-$915M Y/Y (-1% to -4% Y/Y exc. forex) and EPS of $0.24-$0.27.
- With share losses and forex continuing to weigh, consumer security revenue fell 13% Y/Y in FQ2 to $420M, and enterprise security revenue 5% to $485M. On a forex-adjusted basis, consumer revenue is expected to drop 6%-8% Y/Y in FQ3 and 5%-8% in FQ4. Enterprise revenue is expected to be down 2% to up 2% forex-adjusted in FQ3, and down 1% to up 3% in FQ4.
- FQ2 results, PR
Thu, Nov. 5, 7:39 AM
Wed, Nov. 4, 5:30 PM
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Wed, Oct. 14, 7:17 PM
- "You can definitely expect acquisitions from us," Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) CEO Michael Brown tells CRN.
- After taxes, Symantec expects $6.3B in net proceeds from the $8B sale of its Veritas storage software unit, which is expected to close by Jan. 1. A large chunk of that cash is expected to be returned to shareholders - in tandem with the Veritas deal, Symantec hiked its buyback authorization by $1.5B to $2.6B - but that still leaves plenty of room for M&A.
- Brown adds Symantec is specifically eyeing acquisitions related to threat protection, information protection, and cybersecurity services. All three areas have been seeing healthy as enterprises up their security IT spend in response to well-publicized data breaches. With Symantec's enterprise security revenue down 13% Y/Y in calendar Q2 in spite of strong IT security spending, M&A could provide the company's product line with a needed shot in the arm.
- In addition to M&A, Brown promises Symantec will spend heavily on R&D to improve its competitiveness: 6-12 organically developed new products will launch between now and the end of March.
Mon, Aug. 24, 1:50 PM
- Michael A. Brown bought 23.2K shares on Friday via 5 purchases at prices ranging from $21.36-$21.38. His total stake is now at 450.8K.
- The purchases come less than two weeks after Symantec (SYMC -3.2%) posted an FQ1 miss, issued light FQ2 guidance, and announced it's selling Veritas to Carlyle for $8B.
- Shares -21% YTD. They're down today amid a 1.4% drop for the Nasdaq.
Tue, Aug. 11, 11:10 AM
- In addition to missing FQ1 estimates, Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) is guiding for FQ2 revenue of $1.485B-$1.525B and EPS of $0.40-$0.43, below a consensus of $1.54B and $0.45. FY16 (ends March '16) guidance is revenue of $6.21B-$6.35B and EPS of $1.80-$1.90, in-line with a consensus of $6.27B and $1.86.
- Segment/regional performance: Consumer security revenue (hurt by both rival paid products/services and Microsoft's free offerings) fell 19% Y/Y in FQ1 to $430M, and enterprise security revenue fell 13% to $482M (share loss). Ahead of its sale to Carlyle, the Information Management (Veritas, storage software) unit saw revenue drop 10% to $587M. U.S. revenue was down 8%, and international 19%. Forex had a 7% impact on total revenue growth.
- Financials: With the help of job cuts, GAAP operating expenses fell 5% Y/Y to $1.04B. The deferred revenue balance fell 8% to $3.42B. $90M was spent on buybacks. Symantec ended FQ1 with $3.7B in cash, and $2.1B in debt.
- FQ1 results, PR, Veritas sale
- Update: Credit Suisse's Phillip Winslow has downgraded Symantec to Neutral. He argues the $1.5B tax liability produced by the Vertias sale - it wouldn't exist if a spinoff occurred - represents a destruction of shareholder value, and is also concerned about how Symantec might spend some of the proceeds.
Tue, Aug. 11, 7:41 AM
- Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) confirms the sale of Veritas to a group led by the Carlyle Group (NASDAQ:CG) for $8B; shares are halted.
- SYMC expects $6.3B in cash proceeds from the sale, and says it has added $1.5B to its share buyback program.
- Carlyle names Bill Coleman as CEO and Bill Krause as chairman of Veritas.
- Earlier: Symantec set to unveil Veritas sale to Carlyle
- Earlier: Symantec misses by $0.03, misses on revenue
Tue, Aug. 11, 7:04 AM
Tue, Aug. 11, 2:55 AM
- Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) plans to sell its data storage business Veritas to Carlyle Group (NASDAQ:CG) under a deal set to be announced this afternoon, when the former reports its quarterly results.
- Carlyle would pay on the high side of a range between $7B-$8B. At that price, the deal would be this year's largest private equity takeover of a tech company.
Mon, Aug. 10, 5:35 PM
Thu, Jul. 23, 11:27 AM
- As was the case 3 months ago, security tech plays are up strongly (HACK +3.6%) after Fortinet (FTNT +12%) beat estimates, reported strong billings, and delivered above-consensus top-line guidance. The Nasdaq is up 0.3%.
- In addition to FireEye, Palo Alto Networks, and CyberArk (previously covered), gainers include Barracuda Networks (CUDA +6.4%), KEYW Holding (KEYW +4.5%), Symantec (SYMC +1.9%), Imperva (IMPV +7.6%), Proofpoint (PFPT +3.6%), Vasco (VDSI +4.5%), AVG (AVG +3.1%), and Qualys (QLYS +5.7%). AVG is benefiting a bullish JPMorgan coverage launch; Proofpoint reports after the close.
- JPMorgan's Sterling Auty has upgraded Fortinet to Overweight, and a slew of firms have hiked their targets. Auty argues Fortinet's numbers suggest its efforts to grow its high-end presence (aided by major sales investments in recent years), and forecasts free cash flow will rise 43% this year.
- On Fortinet's earnings call (transcript), CFO Drew Del Matto mentioned $100K+ deals rose 53% Y/Y and $1M+ deal 133% (compares with 40% total billings growth). He also mentioned the company's high-end FortiGate UTM/next-gen firewall appliances made up 45% of billings (a new high), and that U.S. enterprise sales (benefiting from strong cybersecurity spend) rose 90%. Major deals were struck with "two of the most recognizable technology brands in the world," as well as two large i-banks.
Tue, Jul. 7, 6:41 PM
- Bloomberg reports Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) is "nearing a deal" to sell its Veritas storage software unit (currently set to be spun off) to P-E firm Carlyle (NASDAQ:CG) for $7B-$8B. For reference, Symantec closed today with a $15.4B market cap.
- Deal terms are still being negotiated. Symantec hasn't been shy about its willingness to field offers for Veritas, which was acquired for $13B+ in 2005. Reuters reported in April tax concerns had hurt buyout interest.
- Symantec has risen to $23.40 AH. The company's Information Management ops had FY15 (ended in March) revenue of $2.56B (+1% Y/Y).
Mon, Jun. 22, 1:09 PM
- Citing a 70% YTD rally, UBS' Brent Thill has downgraded FireEye (FEYE -3%) to Neutral. Symantec (SYMC -1.5%), which is down 7% YTD, has been cut to Sell. Buy ratings have been reiterated (and targets hiked) for Palo Alto Networks and Fortinet, and a neutral rating reiterated for Check Point.
- Discussing cybersecurity stocks in general (HACK -0.1%), Thill (though still positive about end-market demand) argues the easy money has already been made following big 2015 gains fueled by well-publicized hacking incidents and rising corporate security IT spend. "All key players will lap a combination of tough comps and escalating execution expectations that will narrow the margin for error on the stocks."
- Separately, FireEye (hired to probe many a cyberattack) has identified a Chinese group it believes carried out a giant federal personnel records hack. FireEye: "Unlike other actors operating in China who conduct industrial espionage or steal defense technology, this group has primarily targeted [personally identifiable information]."
Mon, Jun. 1, 12:21 PM
- Believing Symantec (SYMC +1.2%) is a better enterprise software value play, Citi's Walter Pritchard has downgraded CA Technologies (CA -0.9%) to Sell, and cut his target to $28.
- Pritchard: "We see more room for upside to revenue at Symantec driven by execution improvements post business split while recent evidence points to further backlog deterioration at CA. On the profit front, CA has just committed to higher margins, & we see more room for unanticipated margin upside at SYMC."
- He admits CA's mainframe software business is more stable than Symantec's Norton security software/services business (has been struggling), but adds Symantec's growth businesses have more upside. Both companies could potentially return more capital, but Symantec is deemed "more likely" to do so.
- Separately, CA has hired Otto Berkes, until recently HBO's CTO and before than an 18-year Microsoft vet, to be its CTO. He'll report to CEO Mike Gregoire.
- Berkes oversaw the development of the HBO Go streaming service, among other things. He reportedly resigned last fall in response to HBO's decision to outsource video delivery for its HBO Now standalone streaming service to the MLB. At the time, Fortune reported HBO chose to outsource following internal dissatisfaction with Berkes and delayed product launches.
- Last week: CA buying Rally Software for $480M
Fri, May 15, 2:07 PM
- Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) has fallen below $25 after missing FQ4 estimates and offering light FQ1/FY16 guidance. No downgrades have arrived in response.
- On the CC (transcript), the company blamed its FQ4 miss on an $8M increase in forex pressures relative to guidance - revenue fell 6% Y/Y in dollars, but was up 1% in constant currency - and an $11M true-up for employee defined benefit plans. It added FQ1 guidance would be higher if the quarter didn't have one less week than the year-ago period.
- Segment performance: Consumer security sales (hurt by competition and Microsoft's free offerings) remained under pressure in FQ4, falling 13% Y/Y to $438M (worse than FQ3's -11%). Enterprise security sales fell 6% to $491M, worse than FQ3's -4% and underperforming peers seeing strong growth amid rising corporate cybersecurity spend. The Veritas Information Management unit (set to be spun off) saw revenue fall 1% to $619M, after rising 1% in FQ3.
- Total license revenue rose 2% to $200M, while content, subscription, and maintenance revenue fell 7% to $1.35B. The deferred revenue balance fell 6% to $3.66B.
- Forex contributed to an 11% drop in international revenue to $758M; U.S. revenue fell 2% to $790M. In spite of lower sales, operating expenses fell to 56.2% of revenue from 56.5% a year ago thanks to cost cuts. $500M was spent on buybacks.
- FQ4 results, PR
Symantec Corp provides security, backup and availability solutions. Its products and services protect people and information in any environment, from the smallest mobile device, to the enterprise data center, to cloud-based systems.
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