Jan. 28, 2014, 5:35 PM| Jan. 28, 2014, 5:35 PM | Comment!
Jan. 16, 2014, 2:14 PM
- William Blair's Jason Ader thinks CommVault's (CVLT +6.3%) consensus FQ3 (Dec. quarter) revenue estimate ($144M) "does not represent a high hurdle," given the storage software vendor's ongoing momentum at large enterprises.
- Ader also reports reseller checks once again indicated "CommVault remains the superior solution in the large-enterprise backup space despite Symantec's (SYMC +0.5%) recent NetBackup 7.6 release and recent IBM investments in the Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) platform."
- Piper downplayed the threat posed by NetBackup 7.6 in a December note, and declared pricing fears unwarranted given CommVault already undercuts Symantec by 20%-25%.
- CommVault shares have badly underperformed the Nasdaq in recent months due to a combo of growth concerns and steep multiples. CommVault reports on the morning of Jan. 29, and Symantec in the afternoon.
Jan. 13, 2014, 9:56 AM
- H-P (HPQ +3.7%) and Teradata (TDC +1.8%) have been started at Overweight by Atlantic Securities.
- BlackBerry (BBRY -6.2%) has been cut to Underperform by Oppenheimer following a major rally over the last four weeks. RBC upgraded shares last Friday.
- F5 (FFIV +3.7%) has been upgraded to Outperform by William Blair.
- Qihoo (QIHU +4.3%) has been upgraded to Buy by Stifel, and started at Buy by UBS. Shares fell last Thursday following a report questioning the size of the company's search share gains, and rose the day before thanks to an Alibaba investment rumor.
- Cree (CREE -6.6%) has been cut to Hold by Stifel.
- Autodesk (ADSK +1.8%) has been upgraded to Overweight by Morgan Stanley.
- Skyworks (SWKS +4.7%) has been upgraded to Buy by B. Riley.
- Red Hat (RHT +4.4%) has been upgraded to Overweight by Morgan Stanley.
- Fortinet (FTNT +2.1%) has been upgraded to Overweight by Morgan Stanley.
- HomeAway (AWAY +2%) has been upgraded to Overweight by Barclays.
- Garmin (GRMN +1.1%) has been upgraded to Outperform by Oppenheimer.
- Nimble Storage (NMBL +2.2%) has been upgraded to Outperform by Pac Crest. The firm started Nimble and Sector Perform just six days ago.
- Peregrine Semi (PSMI -9.1%) has been cut to Hold by Deutsche.
- Sanmina (SANM -7%) has been cut to Underperform by Raymond James.
- Symantec (SYMC -2.3%) has been cut to Underweight by Morgan Stanley.
- NCR (NCR +2.2%) has been started at Overweight by JPMorgan, and added to the firm's Focus List.
- Vipshop (VIPS +1.8%) has been started at Buy by UBS.
- Parametric Sound (PAMT +4.5%) has been started at Strong Buy by Needham.
Jan. 2, 2014, 4:34 PM
- FireEye (FEYE) has acquired Mandiant, a top provider of endpoint security software (protects against threats from remote devices accessing a network), for 21.5M shares (current value of $884M), $106.5M in net cash, and performance incentives. (PR)
- Mandiant claims over 1/3 of the Fortune 100 among its customers, and has had its software installed on 2M+ endpoints. The company already has a partnership with FireEye - Mandiant's software can be used to process and investigate security events detected by FireEye's threat-prevention hardware.
- In addition to endpoint security products, Mandiant's offerings include network security software, incident response services, and a subscription-based service that provides information and analysis about security threats.
- Mandiant competes against Symantec (SYMC), which offers endpoint security and incident response solutions of its own. The acquisition broadens the scope of FireEye's offerings for a fast-growing and very competitive cybersecurity market.
- In tandem with the acquisition (closed at the end of Q4), FireEye is upping its Q4 revenue guidance to $55M-$57M from $52-$54M (consensus is at $53.6M). Billings are now expected to total $95M-$100M, up from a prior $82M-$86M.
- With Mandiant in tow, FireEye now expects 2014 revenue of $400M-$410M, up from prior guidance of $240M-$250M. 2014 billings guidance has been raised to $540M-$560M from $350M-$370M.
- FireEye's strong post-IPO performance and lofty multiples may have helped motivate the company to make a big strategic purchase. Shares are halted until 4:35PM ET. CC at 5PM.
Dec. 30, 2013, 5:39 PM
Dec. 23, 2013, 9:52 AM
- Fortinet (FTNT +2.7%) has hired Drew Del Matto, most recently Symantec's (SYMC +0.2%) chief accounting officer and interim CFO, its new permanent CFO. (PR)
- The hiring comes a month after CFO/COO Ahmad Rubaie resigned for personal reasons, leading shares to tumble. Fortinet says it's still looking for "a senior operations executive." Baird has upgraded shares to Outperform.
- Symantec has named tax VP Don Rath its new interim CFO, and also its interim accounting chief. James Beer, Symantec's last full-time CFO, left three months ago to become McKesson's CFO.
Dec. 17, 2013, 12:54 PM
- Piper's Andrew Nowinski is reiterating an Overweight and $96 PT for CommVault (CVLT +7.7%), and argues several investor concerns are misplaced.
- Nowinski chalks up recent comments from COO Al Bunte about being slightly behind plan for FY14 (ends March '14) as being "more reflective of the overall tech spending environment" than any company-specific issues, and still thinks CommVault is on track to meet its FY14 outlook. The company stated on its FQ2 CC (transcript) it's comfortable with consensus estimates.
- Nowinski also: 1) Dismisses the threat posed by a pending refresh for Symantec's (SYMC +1.2%) NetBackup suite, arguing none of the new features provided are reasons for concern. 2) Calls CommVault's high-teens revenue growth target "very doable," given share gains, new analytics features, and improving cloud service provider penetration. 3) Thinks price cut fears are unwarranted, particularly since CommVault already undercuts Symantec by 20%-25%.
- Before today's move, CommVault had been down YTD in what has been a very good year for tech stocks. Shares fell following October's FQ2 report, in part due to worries about slowing deferred revenue growth.
Dec. 4, 2013, 5:57 PM
- Symantec (SYMC) has hired Amit Mital, until recently in charge of Microsoft's Startup Business Group (forecasts tech trends and helps bring new technologies to market), its new CTO. Mital replaces Steve Trilling, who will be "moving to an operational senior leadership role in the company." (PR)
- The CTO change follows a string of executive departures (I, II, III), and comes at a time when CEO Steve Benett is trying to streamline Symantec's product offerings to better contend with hungry security and storage software rivals.
Nov. 29, 2013, 12:20 PM
- Symantec (SYMC -0.2%) is discontinuing Backup Exec.cloud, a subscription-based service that allowed enterprises to automatically backup and restore data to Symantec-owned servers.
- The company suggests it's making the move because customers want a richer feature set from enterprise cloud backup services, one that includes advanced file-syncing and sharing abilities. Rivals such as EMC's Mozy unit and startup Box (reportedly eying a 2014 IPO) offer those things.
- Symantec, which will still offer its on-premise Backup Exec software, says it plans to develop "more productive and feature rich cloud-based applications" that included missing features demanded by clients.
- CEO Steve Bennett has been busy narrowing Symantec's product line, and placing a greater emphasis on integrated software solutions. The decision to eliminate Backup Exec.cloud follows an FQ2 in which Symantec's storage software sales fell 5% Y/Y.
Nov. 12, 2013, 10:06 AM
- Francis deSouza, Symantec's (SYMC -3.7%) president of products/services and a 7-year company vet, is leaving to become the president of DNA analysis hardware vendor Illumina. Symantec's products/services management team will now report directly to CEO Steve Bennett. (PR)
- deSouza's departure comes six weeks after EMC announced it has hired Symantec storage management software chief C.J. Desai to run its new Emerging Technology Products unit. It also comes three weeks after Symantec's shares tumbled due to a revenue miss and soft guidance; the company reported Y/Y sales declines for all three of its major product segments (PC/mobile security, enterprise security, and storage software).
- Macquarie has cut Symantec to Neutral; the firm cites executive departures as one of its reasons. JPMorgan: "We view Mr. deSouza as a strong technology leader who will be missed at Symantec."
Nov. 12, 2013, 10:05 AM
Oct. 29, 2013, 5:58 PM
Oct. 24, 2013, 12:45 PM
Oct. 24, 2013, 9:12 AM
Oct. 23, 2013, 5:45 PM
Oct. 23, 2013, 4:52 PM
- Symantec (SYMC) expects FQ3 revenue of $1.63B-$1.67B (down from $1.79B a year ago) and EPS of $0.41-$0.43, below a consensus of $1.79B and $0.51.
- Moreover, FY14 (ends March '14) revenue is now expected to drop 3%-4% Y/Y; the consensus is for 0.5% growth.
- Symantec's endpoint (PC/mobile) security software sales (44% of revenue) fell 3% YY in FQ2 after dropping 1% in FQ1. Enterprise security software (19% of revenue) -2% Y/Y, a reversal from FQ1's +7%. Likewise, storage software (37% of revenue) sales fell 5% after rising 4% in FQ1.
- CEO Steve Bennett called FQ2 "a challenging quarter in [Symantec's] transition year," but doesn't give details in the PR about specific about demand issue. Symantec has carried out major job cuts this year, and is also facing tough competition from security startups,EMC's RSA unit, and fast-growing storage software vendors CommVault (CVLT) and Veeam.
- FQ2 EPS was lifted by $125M in buybacks. The deferred revenue balance stood at $3.5B at quarter's end, -3% Y/Y.
- SYMC -13.1% AH. FQ2 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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