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Apr. 4, 2014, 4:02 PM
- JPMorgan will advise Symantec (SYMC +1.1%) on exploring strategic options and defending itself against would-be activist investors, sources tell Bloomberg.
- Reuters is out with a similar report, but doesn't explicitly state which bank Symantec is hiring. It does, however, report major activist funds "have already started examining the company as a potential target."
- Shares plunged to new 52-week lows two weeks ago after Symantec fired CEO Steve Bennett. Bennett moved aggressively to cut costs and streamline Symantec's enormous product line, but failed to invigorate growth and halt security/storage software share losses to rivals large and small.
- Symantec has closed higher on a brutal day for tech stocks.
Mar. 24, 2014, 9:43 AM
- VMware (VMW +0.7%) has been upgraded to Buy by Sterne Agee. Shares are near their 52-week high of $111.45.
- Yelp (YELP +1.4%) has been upgraded to Outperform by JMP. The firm cites Yelp's local ad momentum, and the potential for better monetization of international markets (just 4% of Q4 revenue).
- Symantec (SYMC +2.4%) has been upgraded to Outperform by BMO. A slew of firms downgraded shares on Friday following news of CEO Steve Bennett's firing.
- NetApp (NTAP -2.8%) has been cut to Underweight by Morgan Stanley. The company announced two weeks ago it's cutting 600 jobs, while citing a weak IT spending environment.
- KEYW Holding (KEYW -4.4%) has been cut to Neutral by Sterne Agee. The company held its analyst day on Friday, and disclosed on Thursday CFO John Krobath will be leaving.
- Gartner (IT -1.6%) has been cut to Market Perform by Wells Fargo.
Mar. 21, 2014, 12:46 PM
Mar. 21, 2014, 11:27 AM
- Symantec (SYMC -13.6%) will now "face another multi-year period of upheaval, management turnover and strategic uncertainty as it tries to reposition and transform a largely legacy business of security and infrastructure software and services," thinks MKM's Israel Hernandez, downgrading shares to Sell.
- Hernandez also thinks finding "a willing and capable CEO" to replace the fired Steve Bennett will be tough, expects executive turnover (already an issue) to pick up, thinks the company will be hard-pressed to hit its 5% FY17 growth target, and believes steep valuations and buyback/dividend commitments will make growing via M&A tough.
- Altogether, 7 firms have downgraded Symantec today. Cowen, which has cut shares to Market Perform, says it now has less confidence in Symantec's long-term margin targets. Jefferies, lowering shares to Hold, thinks weakening internal morale/execution is a risk.
- Shares now only go for 8.4x FY15E (ends March '15) EPS after factoring net cash, a valuation well below that of most enterprise software peers. A contrarian buying opportunity or a value trap?
- Previous: Symantec fires CEO; storage vet named interim CEO
Mar. 21, 2014, 9:15 AM
Mar. 20, 2014, 5:43 PM
Mar. 20, 2014, 4:41 PM
Mar. 20, 2014, 4:15 PM
- Symantec (SYMC) CEO Steve Bennett has been axed after less than two years on the job. Director/storage industry vet Michael Brown has been named interim CEO while the company looks for a permanent successor. (PR)
- Chairman Daniel Schulman says Bennett's firing "was the result of an ongoing deliberative process, and not precipitated by any event or impropriety."
- Symantec shares rallied strongly after Bennett was named CEO in July 2012, as investors gave a thumbs-up to his efforts to cut costs and streamline Symantec's product line. But they've underperformed over the last eight months amid earnings disappointments and ongoing share losses.
- Symantec saw a series of executive departures last fall. The company is reiterating its March quarter guidance.
Jan. 30, 2014, 10:19 AM
- Though Symantec (SYMC -7%) beat FQ3 estimates, the company has guided for FQ4 revenue of $1.615B-$1.655B and EPS of $0.40-$0.42, below a consensus of $1.67B and $0.46.
- Like plenty of other tech companies, Symantec's Asia-Pac sales (17% of revenue) have come under pressure: They fell 12% Y/Y in FQ3. NSA fallout could be a factor. But Americas and EMEA sales were only comparatively better, declining 4% and 1% respectively.
- Symantec's User Productivity & Protection (PC/mobile security software, 42% of revenue) sales fell 4% Y/Y in FQ3 vs. 3% in FQ2. Information Security (enterprise security, 19% of revenue) sales fell 3% vs. 2%; Information Management (storage software) sales fell 6% vs. 5%. The numbers point to share loss against rivals such as McAfee (Intel), CommVault, and Veeam.
- Symantec's deferred revenue balance fell 6% Y/Y to $3.59B. FQ3 EPS got a boost from $125M in buybacks. It also benefited from a 14% Y/Y drop in opex to $1.02B, the result of job cuts.
- CC transcript
Jan. 29, 2014, 4:03 PM
- Symantec Corporation (SYMC): Q3 EPS of $0.51 beats by $0.09.
- Revenue of $1.7B (-5.0% Y/Y) beats by $50M.
- Shares -1.7%.
Jan. 29, 2014, 12:10 AM| Jan. 29, 2014, 12:10 AM | 5 Comments
Jan. 28, 2014, 5:35 PM
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
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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