Oct. 8, 2014, 12:42 AM
- Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) might be about to follow in eBay and H-P's footsteps: Bloomberg reports the company is in "advanced talks" to split its security and storage software ops, and that an announcement may happen within a few weeks.
- A source adds the post-breakup companies could draw M&A interest, given firms such as EMC and H-P have shown interest in one half or the other.
- Symantec's two security software units - one is focused on enterprise security, and the other on PC/mobile security - respectively grew 3% and 1% Y/Y in calendar Q2, while its storage software unit grew 1%. The security units accounted for 63% of revenue and 80% of segment op. profit.
- Both the security and storage ops have been seeing tough competition from a mixture of IT giants (EMC, IBM, Intel/McAfee) and hungry upstarts (CommVault, Veeam, Proofpoint, FireEye), something that may have led Michael Brown (just named permanent CEO) to decide each business would be more agile/competitive as a separately-managed entity.
- A split would effectively undo Symantec's 2005 merger with Veritas. Symantec currently trades below where it did prior to the Dec. 2004 merger announcement.
Sep. 30, 2014, 1:15 PM
- Traps, a new Palo Alto Networks (PANW -0.9%) endpoint security offering that leverages technology obtained from the Cyvera acquisition, blocks 23 sets of malware techniques on PCs and mobile devices. Like several other Palo Alto offerings, it's sold as a subscription service.
- Palo Alto touts Traps' ability to automate endpoint protection, and (thanks to Cyvera's tech) to proactively scan for known malware techniques rather than wait for a threat alert to be triggered. The solution integrates with Palo Alto's WildFire threat-analysis service (has 3K+ customers).
- Traps takes aim at Symantec (SYMC +0.4%), historically a major player in the endpoint security space, and also at FireEye (FEYE -2.6%), which has bought rapidly-growing endpoint security software/services firm Mandiant and has since used Mandiant to launch integrated hardware/software endpoint solutions. Intel's McAfee unit also competes in this market.
- Palo Alto CEO Mark McLaughlin says Traps will join the list of Palo Alto products being sold by partner VMware. VMware is working to integrate Palo Alto's products with its NSX networking virtualization/SDN platform (expected to see major uptake over the next few years).
Sep. 25, 2014, 4:09 PM
- Michael A. Brown, who has been serving as Symantec's (NASDAQ:SYMC) interim CEO since March (following the firing of Steve Bennett), has been named the company's permanent CEO.
- Brown was once the CEO of storage hardware vendor Qunatum, and has also worked as a chairman and "CEO coach" for several tech companies prior to their acquisitions (of interest given M&A reports that arrived earlier this year). He'll share a new "strategic plan" within the next 30 days.
Sep. 3, 2014, 5:38 PM
- Home Depot has hired Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) and private FishNet Security to help investigate a suspected credit/debit card data breach.
- Early reports suggest the breach took place in April, and could involve 2K+ Home Depot stores. Much like other security software firms, Symantec has been trying to grow its exposure to a burgeoning cybersecurity software/services market.
Aug. 6, 2014, 4:21 PM
- Though it beat FQ1 estimates, Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) is guiding for FQ2 revenue of $1.6B-$1.64B and EPS of $0.40-$0.44, unfavorable to a consensus of $1.63B and $0.45. FY15 (ends March '15) guidance is for revenue of $6.63B-$6.77B and EPS of $1.84-$1.92, in-line with a consensus of $6.69B and $1.88.
- License revenue tumbled 15% Y/Y in FQ1 to $161M. Content, subscription & maintenance revenue rose 4% to $1.57B. Symantec's deferred revenue balance fell 4% to $3.71B.
- Information Security (enterprise security) revenue +3% Y/Y to $345M, user productivity/protection (PC/mobile security) +1% to $740M, information management (storage software) +1% to $650M. User productivity/protection made up a majority of segment op. profit ($270M out of $427M).
- Opex was 58.7% of revenue vs. 58.4% a year ago. $125M was spent on stock repurchases.
- SYMC +0.3% AH. FQ2 results, PR.
Aug. 6, 2014, 4:13 PM
Aug. 4, 2014, 10:20 AM
- The Chinese government's procurement agency has warned departments not to use antivirus software from Symantec (SYMC -0.6%) and fellow U.S. supplier Kaspersky Lab.
- Qihoo (QIHU +3.4%), which has a giant share of the Chinese antivirus software market, is rallying, though it's worth noting several other Chinese tech companies are also doing well.
- Previously, China's Public Security Ministry had warned Symantec's Data Loss Prevention software had security loopholes that could enable outside access. As in several other regions, NSA-related tensions have been running high in the Middle Kingdom. Local authorities have also launched an anti-monopoly probe against Microsoft.
- The whole of Asia-Pac accounted for 17% of Symantec's FQ4 revenue. FQ1 results arrive on Wednesday.
Jul. 10, 2014, 3:57 PM
- Sources tell dealReporter Symantec (SYMC +1%) is seeing fresh interest from P-E firms. Shares have turned positive after spending most of the day in the red.
- Reuters reported in April Bain, Blackstone, and Carlyle were among the firms eying the security/storage software vendor. But the news service added there were no serious talks going on. Activist ValueAct Capital disclosed a stake in May.
Jul. 7, 2014, 2:12 PM
- Citrix (CTXS -0.6%) has hired Brian Dye, formerly the head of Symantec's (SYMC -0.7%) Information Security unit (offers a variety of enterprise/data center security software), to head its Mobile Platforms Group.
- Dye will be in charge of Citrix's XenMobile mobile device/app management (MDM) platform, along with other products (mobile virtualization software, data access/syncing , etc.) in Citrix's Mobile Workspace Suite.
- XenMobile has its roots in Citrix's 2012 Zenprise acquisition. Citrix mentioned on its Q1 CC (transcript) its mobile platform sales were up "well over" 100% Y/Y, albeit while adding they're still a small % of total revenue. The company faces competition from VMware, SAP, BlackBerry, Microsoft, and several others.
- Dye's departure is the latest in a slew of executive departures to hit Symantec over the last 12 months. The company is 4 months removed from firing CEO Steve Bennett.
Jul. 1, 2014, 9:15 AM
- Citing growth challenges and the rally that has followed CEO Steve Bennett's March firing, BMO has downgraded Symantec (SYMC) to Market Perform, albeit while raising its PT by $2 to $24.
- Shares have been range-bound since mid-May, after rallying on reports of P-E interest and news of ValueAct Capital's stake.
May. 15, 2014, 9:07 AM
- ValueAct Capital, fresh off securing a Microsoft board seat, has disclosed a 7.6M-share (1.1%) stake in Symantec (SYMC).
- Reuters reported in April ValueAct is among the activist investors thinking of buying into Symantec in the wake of Steve Bennett's firing. The news service has also reported P-E firms are eying the company, and that Symantec is hiring banks to explore strategic options.
May. 14, 2014, 5:38 PM
May. 8, 2014, 4:15 PM
- Symantec (SYMC) expects FQ1 revenue of $1.65B-$1.69B and EPS of $0.41-$0.43 vs. a consensus of $1.64B and $0.43. FY15 guidance is for revenue of $6.63B-$$6.77B and EPS of $1.84-$1.92 vs. a consensus of $6.69B and $1.83.
- FQ4 segment data highlights ongoing share losses: User productivity/protection (PC/mobile security software, 43% of revenue) -6% Y/Y vs. -4% in FQ3. Information management (storage software, 38% of revenue) -7% vs. -6%, infomration security (enterprise security, 19% of revenue) -2% vs. -3%.
- Thanks to job cuts, opex fell to 56.4% of revenue from 58.7% a year ago. Gross margin fell 30 bps to 83.9%, and $125M was spent on buybacks.
- Symantec thinks it can achieve a 30% op. margin by FY15's fourth quarter, up from 27.3% in the last quarter.
- Expectations were fairly low after shares tumbled in response to Steve Bennett's firing.
- FQ4 results,.PR
May. 8, 2014, 4:06 PM
May. 5, 2014, 3:45 AM
- Antivirus "is dead," says Brian Dye, senior VP for information security at Symantec (SYMC), the company that pioneered such software in the late 1980s. Dye reckons that the products catch only 45% of cyberattacks. "We don't think of antivirus as a moneymaker in any way."
- Except that antivirus still contributes over 40% of Symantec's revenues.
- To reduce that reliance, the company is looking to follow an industry trend, and develop products and services that spot malicious software that's breached a computer's defenses and minimize the impact.
- "If customers are shifting from protect to detect and respond, the growth is going to come from detect and respond," Dye says.
Apr. 15, 2014, 1:26 PM
- ValueAct Capital, which won a Microsoft board seat last year, is among the activist investors thinking of taking a stake in Symantec (SYMC), sources tell Reuters.
- Meanwhile, P-E firms including Bain, Blackstone, and Carlyle have reportedly "started assessing the possibility of a leveraged buyout of all or parts of Symantec." Reuters adds some P-E firms "have approached Symantec in recent weeks to discuss deal possibilities," but there are currently no serious talks going on.
- 11 days ago, Reuters and Bloomberg reported Symantec is hiring one or more banks to explore its options and defend itself against activists following the firing of CEO Steve Bennett.
- Shares are near breakeven on a rough day for the Nasdaq.
SYMC vs. ETF Alternatives
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.
Other News & PR