Mon, Apr. 13, 2:44 PM
- After surging before the close on Friday thanks to a WSJ report stating the company is exploring a sale of its Veritas storage software unit that (in the opinion of a source) could fetch more than $8B, Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) is now barely above its Thursday close.
- Likely playing a role: Reuters has followed up by reporting Symantec has been seeking buyers for Veritas, if not for the entire company, for months, and that "interest from potential buyers has been limited because of a tax burden associated with splitting the company." Symantec is said to have reached out to EMC, NetApp, and P-E firms.
- Analysts like the idea of a Veritas sale. Cowen: "Timing aside, we do believe that suitable buyers exist, with Oracle, NetApp, and EMC, the most likely strategic bidders, but PE also very possible ... Given Veritas’ low growth profile and tough competition, we believe this would be a good exit for SYMC..."
- Sterne Agee: "Both EMC and and NetApp have likely been afforded the opportunity to consider this acquisition before – we would be surprised if either vendor were to actively pursue this M&A."
- Jefferies: "We very roughly assume a $3bn tax basis and 40% tax on any gain on the sale of Veritas, which translates to $2bn in tax leakage on an $8bn transaction." The firm only values Veritas at $5B, but admits "low interest rates and high degrees of financial leverage present upside risk to our valuation."
- Meanwhile, a Piper Q1 security reseller survey found 38% stating their Symantec sales are below plan vs. 13% above plan. Moreover, for Q2, Symantec is said to have "the weakest [sales] pipeline of all vendors, with 50 percent of resellers expecting below normal seasonality."
Fri, Apr. 10, 4:01 PM
- The WSJ reports Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) is exploring a sale of its storage software unit. The business, once more known as Veritas, is set to be spun off by year's end.
- P-E firms and "possible industry bidders" have reportedly been contacted. One source states "potential buyers approached Symantec about Veritas before it began contacting possible bidders" while adding the business could fetch more than $8B; Symantec currently sports a $17.2B market cap. Taxes related to a sale are seen as a potential roadblock.
- Symantec, whose storage software ops saw revenue rise only 1% Y/Y in FQ3 amid tough competition, has shot higher on the report. The company's analyst day arrives on April 17, and its FQ4 report on May 14.
Fri, Feb. 6, 8:39 PM
- A Delaware federal jury has ordered Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) to pay $17M in damages for infringing two patents held by infamous IP licensing firm Intellectual Ventures, while clearing it of infringing a third patent.
- The award is far less than the $298M IV was seeking. The firm had sued Symantec and three other companies over security software patents in 2010.
- Symantec says it's weighing its options to further reduce the damages. Its shares fell 4.6% in regular trading due to the soft FQ4 guidance provided with the company's mixed FQ3 results.
Thu, Feb. 5, 7:04 PM
- Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) expects FQ4 revenue of $1.525B-$1.585B and EPS of $0.42-$0.45, below a consensus of $1.63B and $0.49. Forex is expected to have a $95M impact on revenue, and a $0.06 impact on EPS.
- Along with its FQ3 numbers, Symantec has launched a new $1B buyback, good for repurchasing over 5% of shares at current levels. Symantec spent $375M on buybacks over the first 9 months of FY15 through its prior program, which had $283M remaining as of Jan. 2.
- License revenue rose 15% Y/Y in FQ3 to $226M, but content, maintenance, & subscription revenue fell 6% to $1.41B. Consumer security revenue was a weak point, falling 11% Y/Y to $461M amid tough competition from Intel (McAfee) and others. Enterprise security fell 4% to $509M (competition is also intense here), and information management (storage software, set to be spun off) rose 1% to $688M.
- Forex had a 4% impact on each segment's growth, and led total international revenue to fall 8%. U.S. revenue rose 1%.
- The deferred revenue balance fell by 4% Y/Y to $3.49B. Thanks to job cuts and forex, operating expenses only rose 1% to $1.03B.
- SYMC -1.8% AH. FQ3 results, PR.
Thu, Feb. 5, 4:52 PM
Thu, Feb. 5, 4:05 PM
Thu, Jan. 29, 1:21 PM
- What's old is new again: Ten years after merging with storage management software leader Veritas, Symantec (SYMC -0.8%) has decided its storage software ops will go under the Veritas name after being spun off from the company's security software/service ops.
- Symantec adds the businesses that will (again) be known as Veritas had FY14 (ended March. '14) revenue of $2.5B (37% of Symantec's total revenue). FY15's FQ4 results are due on Feb. 5.
Tue, Jan. 13, 12:38 AM
- Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) is hiring 65 engineers and data scientists, and is licensing IP, from Boeing's (NYSE:BA) Narus cybersecurity analytics software unit. Terms are undisclosed.
- Narus' technology relies on algorithms and data fusion techniques to analyze large volumes of Web traffic, and filter suspect material. The company was the subject of a 2006 class-action suit alleging AT&T used its products to support the NSA's warrantless wiretap program.
- The purchase comes as corporate interest in cybersecurity continues to surge in response to high-profile breaches - Pres. Obama will outline his cybersecurity proposals later this week - and as Symantec tries to better compete against a slew of smaller, faster-growing security tech firms offering some mixture of hardware, software, and services to protect against external threats.
Mon, Jan. 5, 1:37 PM
- Symantec's (SYMC -0.8%) FQ3 report will be posted after the close on Thursday, February 5. A CC will be held at 5PM ET (webcast on IR site).
- Consensus is for revenue of $1.67B (-1.8% Y/Y), and EPS of $0.49. Symantec, which remains set to split its security and storage software ops by year's end, provided below-consensus FQ3 and FY15 revenue guidance in November. EPS guidance was a little healthier.
Nov. 24, 2014, 3:43 PM
- Twenty-two spinoffs have been completed in 2014, the most in a decade, and another 28 have been announced. Among the catalysts are activist investors, so Credit Suisse screened for companies with multiple business segments, slow growth, and stocks trading for lower multiples than peers, in other words, "good, quality companies that are struggling to grow."
- The list is heavy on big media names like Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) and Twenty-First Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA), big tech like Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC), and IBM, and big industry like Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT), Ingersoll-Rand (NYSE:IR), and Raytheon (NYSE:RTN), but just two financial names - Travelers (NYSE:TRV) and Torchmark (NYSE:TMK).
- The rest: MO, CA, WU, DPS, PBI, SJM, HRS, SWK, EMR, WLP, MAT, GE, SNA, LLL, ITW, STJ, PDCO, HPQ, DLPH, HAS, NAVI, GME, CBS, JNJ, SLB.
Nov. 13, 2014, 5:21 PM
- Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) COO Stephen Gillett is "no longer serving in such capacity as of November 13, 2014 as a result of the elimination of the Chief Operating Officer role from the Company's organizational structure." He's expected to remain with Symantec during a transitional period. (8-K)
- The move comes ahead of Symantec's breakup into security and storage software firms, and fits with a broader corporate trend towards removing the COO position.
Nov. 6, 2014, 3:42 PM
- "As a result of restructuring, we expect headcount reductions of approximately 10%," Symantec (SYMC -0.5%) disclosed on its FQ2 CC (transcript). The company expects to record $100M-$120M in restructuring charges, about half of which will be recorded in FY15 (ends March '15).
- Symantec also expects to record "separation costs" of $80M-$100M over the next five quarters related to its planned breakup.
- The company already carried out a string of job cuts under the departed Steve Bennett. Opex was down 3% Y/Y in FQ2 to $894M.
- Shares are off slightly post-earnings, after having gone into the report near a 52-week high of $25.35. Ahead of the breakup, Symantec's security software/services units saw revenue collectively fall 4% Y/Y in FQ2 to $996M, and its storage software/services unit saw revenue rise 3% to $621M.
- FQ2 results, guidance, PR
Nov. 5, 2014, 5:36 PM
Nov. 5, 2014, 4:03 PM
Oct. 10, 2014, 3:31 PM
- While calling Symantec's (NASDAQ:SYMC) decision to split its security and storage software ops into separate companies "an important step in fundamentally fixing the company," Morgan Stanley's Keith Weiss (Underweight) also thinks it increases near-term execution risk.
- Weiss: "While Symantec needs to expend significant energy and focus on fixing the structure of the company, integrating existing technologies and increasing its pace of innovation, the markets it addresses are rapidly evolving."
- Raymond James' Michael Turtis is more positive, upping shares to Outperform. While agreeing execution risks (along with strategic business risks) are high, he values Symantec at $25/share on a sum-of-the-parts basis if its units remain publicly traded, and $28/share if the storage unit becomes an acquisition target.
- Credit Suisse's Phil Winslow (Outperform) believes at least two potential suitors could exist for Symantec's storage software ops, and suspects the business could fetch $9B (still 21% less than Veritas' enterprise value at the time of the merger).
- Ratings agencies have put Symantec's debt on review for downgrade. They did the same for H-P following its split announcement.
- Shares have dived towards $22 on a day the Nasdaq is down 1.9%.
Oct. 9, 2014, 4:40 PM
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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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