Symantec Co. (SYMC) Cut to “Strong Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Symantec Co. (NASDAQ:SYMC) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Estimates have been going down following the internet security solution provider, Symantec reported dismal fourth-quarter fiscal 2017 results, wherein the top and bottom lines lagged the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate. In addition, despite registering a tremendous jump in the revenues, which was mainly driven by the benefit from Blue Coat and LifeLock acquisitions, adjusted earnings marked a significant year-over-year decline. Apart from this, the company’s first quarter and fiscal 2018 revenue guidance were also disappointing, as both fell short of our estimates. Going ahead, changing customer spending behavior makes us pretty skeptical about Symantec’s near-term performance. Moreover, smaller companies like Kaspersky are consistently launching comparable products. These, along with competition from the likes of Microsoft, remain headwinds. The uncertainty over PC sales adds to its woes.”

SYMC has been the subject of several other reports. Royal Bank of Canada restated an outperform rating and set a $30.00 price target (up from $28.00) on shares of Symantec in a research report on Monday, January 30th. Wunderlich upped their price target on shares of Symantec from $30.00 to $32.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Monday, February 27th. Instinet restated a neutral rating and set a $27.00 price target (up from $25.00) on shares of Symantec in a research report on Sunday, February 5th. Morgan Stanley upped their price target on shares of Symantec from $33.00 to $37.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 22nd. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC upped their price target on shares of Symantec from $23.00 to $27.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 18th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have assigned a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $29.86.

Shares of Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) traded down 1.51% on Tuesday, reaching $29.29. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 6,085,970 shares. Symantec has a 12 month low of $16.83 and a 12 month high of $33.22. The firm’s market cap is $18.10 billion. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $31.08 and a 200-day moving average of $27.80.

Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, May 10th. The technology company reported $0.28 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.28. The business had revenue of $1.18 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.18 billion. Symantec had a return on equity of 12.69% and a net margin of 55.12%. The firm’s revenue was up 34.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.22 earnings per share. On average, analysts anticipate that Symantec will post $1.78 EPS for the current year.

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The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, June 21st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, June 7th will be paid a dividend of $0.075 per share. This represents a $0.30 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.01%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, June 5th. Symantec’s dividend payout ratio is 9.35%.

In other Symantec news, CFO Nicholas R. Noviello sold 27,741 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $32.45, for a total transaction of $900,195.45. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 184,928 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,000,913.60. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Michael David Fey sold 13,215 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.62, for a total transaction of $378,213.30. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 291,001 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,328,448.62. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 91,043 shares of company stock valued at $2,797,550 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.76% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Suntrust Banks Inc. increased its position in shares of Symantec by 3.4% in the third quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 33,085 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $830,000 after buying an additional 1,086 shares in the last quarter. Oak Associates Ltd. OH increased its position in shares of Symantec by 10.2% in the third quarter. Oak Associates Ltd. OH now owns 710,407 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $17,781,000 after buying an additional 65,912 shares in the last quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. increased its position in shares of Symantec by 24.3% in the third quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. now owns 5,308,832 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $133,252,000 after buying an additional 1,038,202 shares in the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Symantec by 18.3% in the third quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 4,636 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $117,000 after buying an additional 717 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Ameriprise Financial Inc. increased its position in shares of Symantec by 37.5% in the third quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 408,635 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $10,256,000 after buying an additional 111,393 shares in the last quarter. 93.90% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Symantec Company Profile

Symantec Corporation is a United States-based cyber security company. The Company offers products under categories, such as threat protection, information protection, cyber security services and Website security. Under threat protection, it offers Advanced Threat Protection, Endpoint Protection, Endpoint Protection Cloud, IT Management Suite, Email Security.Cloud, Data Center Security and Cloud Workload Protection products.

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