Symantec (SYMC) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Symantec suffered weak Q4 results wherein both earnings and revenues fell on a year-over-year basis. The company is hurt by a drop in the enterprise bookings, softening its Enterprise Security segment. Low ProxySG refresh cycle and tepid sales of cloud proxy, Web Security Services, mailnly due to competition loss to Zscale, is a concern. Further, rising costs in the Enterprise business are expected to keep margins under pressure in the near term. Also, leak guidance provided by the company and the abrupt departure of CEO Greg Clark are likely to leave the stock stressed. Shares of the company have underperformed the industry year to date. However, solid demand for cybersecurity-related products and an increase in the global IT security spending due to menacingly growing global hacking events are a positive. Moreover, Symantec's innovative products and solutions will help it win customers, thereby increasing its business volume.”

SYMC has been the subject of a number of other reports. ValuEngine cut Symantec from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 8th. Robert W. Baird restated a hold rating and issued a $25.00 price objective on shares of Symantec in a research report on Friday, February 1st. Mizuho cut their price objective on Symantec from $25.00 to $22.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a research report on Friday, May 10th. Jefferies Financial Group cut their price objective on Symantec from $22.00 to $19.00 and set a hold rating for the company in a research report on Friday, May 10th. Finally, BidaskClub cut Symantec from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Saturday, May 4th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $22.13.

NASDAQ:SYMC traded up $0.13 during trading hours on Wednesday, reaching $19.84. The company had a trading volume of 10,220,560 shares, compared to its average volume of 6,714,579. Symantec has a 1-year low of $17.42 and a 1-year high of $24.77. The company has a market capitalization of $12.60 billion, a PE ratio of 16.96, a PEG ratio of 1.97 and a beta of 1.09. The company has a current ratio of 0.85, a quick ratio of 1.02 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69.

Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 9th. The technology company reported $0.39 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.39. Symantec had a return on equity of 13.05% and a net margin of 0.59%. The company had revenue of $1.20 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.21 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.46 earnings per share. Symantec’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.2% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts predict that Symantec will post 1.26 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, June 26th. Investors of record on Monday, June 10th will be given a dividend of $0.075 per share. This represents a $0.30 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.51%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, June 7th. Symantec’s payout ratio is 25.64%.

In related news, insider Gregory S. Clark sold 636,209 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, April 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $23.69, for a total transaction of $15,071,791.21. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 1,503,837 shares in the company, valued at $35,625,898.53. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP Matthew Charles Brown sold 5,393 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $21.90, for a total value of $118,106.70. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 58,514 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,281,456.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 1,052,927 shares of company stock valued at $24,563,645 over the last quarter. 1.90% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of SYMC. Legal & General Group Plc increased its position in shares of Symantec by 12.8% during the third quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 4,103,725 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $87,328,000 after purchasing an additional 464,098 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc increased its position in shares of Symantec by 1.4% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 65,537,473 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $1,394,637,000 after purchasing an additional 902,112 shares in the last quarter. DNB Asset Management AS increased its position in shares of Symantec by 6.9% during the fourth quarter. DNB Asset Management AS now owns 80,733 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $1,525,000 after purchasing an additional 5,200 shares in the last quarter. Fox Run Management L.L.C. purchased a new stake in shares of Symantec during the fourth quarter worth approximately $539,000. Finally, Virtu Financial LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Symantec during the fourth quarter worth approximately $1,138,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 89.96% of the company’s stock.

About Symantec

Symantec Corporation provides cybersecurity products, services, and solutions worldwide. The company operates through two segments, Enterprise Security and Consumer Digital Safety. The Enterprise Security segment provides endpoint and information protection products, including endpoint security, advanced threat protection, and information protection solutions and their related support services; and network and Web security products, such as network security, Web security, and cloud security solutions and their related support services.

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