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Symantec Corp. (SYMC)

From Wall Street Stock Forecaster: “Symantec Corp. (SYMC) sells Internet security technology, including anti-virus and Internet content and email filtering...

Symantec Corp. (SYMC) sells Internet security technology, including anti-virus and Internet content and email filtering software, to businesses and consumers. In its 2011 third quarter, which ended December 31, 2010, Symantec’s revenue rose 3.6%, to $1.6 billion from $1.5 billion a year earlier. The company gets 52% of its revenue from overseas sales. If you disregard the negative impact of exchange rates, sales rose 5% during the quarter. The company earned $272 million, down 16.3% from $325 million a year earlier.

“Symantec spent $265 million on share buybacks in the latest quarter. Due to fewer shares outstanding, earnings per share fell 12.5%, to $0.35 from $0.40 a year earlier. These figures exclude unusual items, such as costs to absorb recent acquisitions. On this basis, the latest earnings beat the consensus estimate of $0.33. Publicity around the WikiLeaks affair, involving the public release of often-embarrassing diplomatic cables, has made the company’s customers more security conscious. This should help Symantec sell more anti- virus and other software, despite the sluggishness of the U.S. economic recovery. Symantec devotes around 15% of its revenue to research, so it’s more profitable than it appears. This spending will also help it keep its lead in the competitive and fast-changing computer-security industry. The company’s long-term debt of $2.0 billion is 14.5% of its $13.8-billion market cap. ... The stock trades at 12.5 times the $1.40 a share, excluding one- time items, that Symantec should earn in fiscal 2011. Symantec is now a buy.”

Patrick McKeough, Wall Street Stock Forecaster, 1/28/11

Patrick McKeough is one of Canada’s top safe-money advisors. A professional investment analyst for more than 25 years, he has developed a stock-selection technique that has proven reliable in both bull and bear markets. His proprietary ValuVesting System™ focuses on stocks that provide exceptional quality at relatively low prices. As early as 1980, Mr. McKeough was recognized as #1 in the world of published investment advice by the Washington, DC-based Newsletter Publishers Association. According to The Hulbert Financial Digest, Mr. McKeough’s Successful Investor newsletter outperformed all other Canadian newsletters over five years, and ranked fifth among all 140 newsletters that Hulbert tracks.