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

According to Zacks, “Estimates for internet security provider, Symantec, have been unchanged of late. We believe rise in demand for cybersecurity-related products due to continuously increasing global hacking events, along with acquisitions will drive Symantec’s near-term results. Notably, the stock has outperformed the industry in the last one year. Nonetheless, we consider that although the sale of its certified authority business will avoid conflicts with Alphabet, the loss of high margin business may hurt Symantec’s near-term profitability. Furthermore, changing customer spending behavior makes us pretty skeptical about Symantec’s near-term performance. Moreover, increasing competition from existing and newer companies remain headwinds. The uncertainty over PC sales adds to its woes. Nonetheless, the stock has underperformed the industry in the last one year.”

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. BidaskClub cut shares of Symantec from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $40.00 target price on shares of Symantec and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Sunday, October 15th. Deutsche Bank began coverage on shares of Symantec in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. They set a hold rating and a $30.00 target price on the stock. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a hold rating and set a $27.00 target price on shares of Symantec in a report on Friday, November 3rd. Finally, Robert W. Baird reissued a hold rating and set a $32.00 target price on shares of Symantec in a report on Friday, September 8th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have assigned a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $32.29.

Shares of Symantec (SYMC) traded up $0.06 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $28.97. 5,282,800 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 5,032,000. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.72, a current ratio of 1.12 and a quick ratio of 1.12. Symantec has a 1-year low of $24.14 and a 1-year high of $34.20. The company has a market cap of $18,020.00, a PE ratio of -49.95, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.92 and a beta of 1.07.

Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The technology company reported $0.40 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.26 by $0.14. Symantec had a negative net margin of 5.29% and a positive return on equity of 12.33%. The business had revenue of $1.28 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.27 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.30 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 25.7% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts forecast that Symantec will post 1.05 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, December 13th. Investors of record on Monday, November 20th were given a $0.075 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, November 17th. This represents a $0.30 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.04%. Symantec’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently -51.72%.

In related news, EVP Francis C. Rosch sold 57,103 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.42, for a total value of $1,565,764.26. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 325,026 shares in the company, valued at $8,912,212.92. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Nicholas R. Noviello sold 375,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $29.38, for a total transaction of $11,017,500.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 565,319 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $16,609,072.22. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.30% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in SYMC. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. grew its position in Symantec by 7.9% in the second quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 3,982 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $112,000 after acquiring an additional 292 shares in the last quarter. Sun Life Financial INC grew its position in Symantec by 44,100.0% in the second quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 4,420 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $125,000 after acquiring an additional 4,410 shares in the last quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. purchased a new position in Symantec in the second quarter worth $127,000. Johnson Financial Group Inc. grew its position in Symantec by 6.2% in the second quarter. Johnson Financial Group Inc. now owns 5,596 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $158,000 after acquiring an additional 325 shares in the last quarter. Finally, United Bank Inc. purchased a new position in Symantec in the third quarter worth $200,000. Institutional investors own 94.74% of the company’s stock.

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About Symantec

Symantec Corporation is a United States-based cyber security company. The Company offers products under categories, such as threat protection, information protection and cyber security services. 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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