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Thu, Feb. 4, 5:39 PM
Thu, Feb. 4, 4:38 PM
- Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) announces in tandem with its FQ3 report P-E firm Silver Lake is investing $500M in the company, and that the company is issuing a $4/share ($2.3B) special dividend. The dividend is payable on March 22 to shareholders on record as of March 8.
- At the same time, Symantec's regular quarterly dividend is being cut in half to $0.075/share to "reflect reduced projected domestic cash flow, following the sale of Veritas, and the one-time special dividend." In addition the company is now targeting $400M/year in cost savings (with the help of job cuts?) by the end of FY18 (ends March '18).
- The news comes less than a week after Symantec closed the sale of its Veritas storage software unit to Carlyle, a deal that yielded after-tax proceeds of $5.3B. The total size of Symantec's capital return program (includes the dividend, as well as buybacks) is now $5.5B, up from a prior $4B+.
- The program is set to be finished in March 2017, and will be financed through a mixture of the Veritas proceeds, Silver Lake's money, available cash, and new debt. Silver Lake is buying 2.5% convertible senior notes due 2021. The notes sport a conversion price of $21/share. Silver Lake managing partner Ken Hao is joining the board.
- FQ4 guidance is in-line: Revenue of $885M-$915M and EPS of $0.24-$0.27 vs. a consensus of $901.7M and $0.25. FQ3 enterprise security revenue fell 3% Y/Y to $495M (+1% exc. forex); consumer security revenue fell 10% to $414M (-6% exc. forex).
- Symantec's FQ3 results, earnings release
- Update (4:39PM ET): After coming off a halt, Symantec is up 8.7% after hours.
Thu, Feb. 4, 4:17 PM
Fri, Jan. 29, 4:15 PM
- As expected, the sale of Symantec's (NASDAQ:SYMC) Veritas storage software unit to P-E firm Carlyle has closed today. The closing comes nine days after Symantec announced it had agreed to a deal revision that cuts its after-tax proceeds by $1B to $5.3B.
- Symantec, now solely focused on security software/services, has used the announcement to state its board has approved a $2B increase for the company's capital return program.
- Symantec adds it's on track to return over $4B to shareholders by the end of March 2017. $1.8B was left on the company's buyback authorization at the end of FQ3 (calendar Q4), and a $500M accelerated buyback was finished this month. FQ3 results arrive on the afternoon of Feb. 4.
Wed, Jan. 20, 8:07 AM
- Citing "uncertainties developed regarding the transaction," Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) and Carlyle (NASDAQ:CG) have amended the terms of Carlyle's purchase of Symantec's Veritas storage software unit to cut the purchase price from $8B to $7.4B, and double Veritas' offshore cash balance to $400M.
- Symantec will now be paid $6.6B in cash and left with a $400M equity interest in Veritas. After-tax cash proceeds are expected to total $5.3B, down from an original $6.3B.
- The deal is still expected to close on Jan. 29. The sale price cut follows a Nasdaq selloff, as well as November reports indicating banks had postponed marketing the debt Carlyle planned to use to finance the Veritas deal.
- Separately, Symantec now expects FQ3 revenue, op. margin, and EPS to be above the midpoints of the guidance ranges provided in its Nov. 5 FQ2 report. FQ3 results are due on Feb. 4.
- Symantec has dropped to $18.05 premarket, making new 52-week lows in the process.
Dec. 31, 2015, 7:03 PM
- Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) could make a bid for storage array vendor NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP) and threat-prevention hardware/software provider FireEye (NASDAQ:FEYE) in 2016, thinks FBR's Dan Ives. Cisco/NetApp speculation has been around for a while. Meanwhile, Cisco has made several security acquisitions in recent years, and appears to be up for more, but has also launched products that compete with FireEye.
- Ives also thinks IBM could bid for machine/log data analytics software leader Splunk (NASDAQ:SPLK) and business intelligence/data visualization software firm QLIK. With a $7.6B market cap and high multiples, Splunk would be a costlier acquisition than IBM's traditional fare.
- HP Enterprise (NYSE:HPE), meanwhile, is seen as a potential suitor for both Qlik and enterprise cloud storage/file-sharing leader BOX. And Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) a potential buyer of cloud ERP, HR, and e-commerce software firm NetSuite (NYSE:N). Larry Ellison owns a large stake in NetSuite (more SMB-focused than Oracle), and the company both competes and partners with Oracle.
- Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), which has made plenty of acquisitions in the Satya Nadella era, is seen as a potential buyer of database security software and Web app firewall vendor Imperva (NYSE:IMPV), as well as of cloud vulnerability management and compliance software firm Qualys (NASDAQ:QLYS). Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC), which has signaled it will make security acquisitions after the sale of its Veritas unit closes, is considered a possible acquirer of e-mail/compliance security software provider Proofpoint (NASDAQ:PFPT).
- Yesterday: FBR sees improving cybersecurity spend, likes several stocks
Dec. 21, 2015, 4:26 PM
- Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) and Carlyle previously expected Carlyle's $8B purchase of Symantec's storage software unit to close on Jan. 1. The delay follows November reports stating banks had postponed marketing $5.5B in debt meant to finance Carlyle's purchase of Veritas amid greater risk-aversion among corporate debt buyers.
- Symantec has said it expects net proceeds (after taxes) of $6.3B, and plans to direct them towards both capital returns and acquisitions.
Dec. 15, 2015, 11:38 AM
- "With close to 175 million endpoints, Symantec retains significant incumbency advantages as the industry focus shifts back towards next gen endpoints and security analytics," writes Morgan Stanley's Keith Weiss, upgrading Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) to Overweight and hiking his target from $24 to $26 ahead of the expected January closing of the Veritas (storage software) sale. The remarks follow multiple surveys pointing to strong corporate endpoint security spending.
- Weiss adds a survey of 1K+ consumers indicated strong renewal rates for Symantec's offerings, and minimal headwinds from the adoption of free solutions. That leads him to predict consumer security headwinds will moderate. Meanwhile, new integrated offerings and go-to-market changes are expected to yield "some stabilization" for enterprise sales.
- Symantec's consumer and enterprise security revenue respectively fell 13% and 5% Y/Y in calendar Q3 (FQ2) thanks to share losses and forex. Shares are rallying after having closed yesterday $0.47 above a 52-week low of $19.07.
Dec. 3, 2015, 4:43 PM
- Symantec (SYMC +0.3%) managed to close slightly higher on a day the Nasdaq fell 1.7% after CEO Michael Brown presented at a Credit Suisse conference (webcast).
- Among other things, Brown stated Symantec's board has authorized "meaningfully higher" capital returns. The company has already promised to return a healthy chunk of the $6.3B in net proceeds expected from the Veritas sale to shareholders, and announced a $500M accelerated buyback a month ago.
- Separately, Symantec announced yesterday it's spending over $50M to strengthen its security operations center (SOC) footprint, with a portion dedicated towards building a new SOC in Singapore. The move comes after rival Microsoft announced it's building a Cyber Operations Defense Center to provide 24x7 security threat support, as companies increasingly rely on a mixture of hardware, software, and value-added services to deal with cyberattacks.
Nov. 17, 2015, 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.
Nov. 5, 2015, 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
Nov. 5, 2015, 7:39 AM
- Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC): FQ2 EPS of $0.44 beats by $0.02.
- Revenue of $1.5B (-7.4% Y/Y) in-line.
Nov. 4, 2015, 5:30 PM
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Oct. 14, 2015, 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.
Aug. 24, 2015, 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.
Aug. 11, 2015, 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.
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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