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Should I Do It? Symantec Bar Set Low

And while Symantec has a less-than-stellar record with past acquisitions, Altiris has a strong market position in a rapidly growing area where the company previously had little exposure. Altiris' Hamlet software suite allows users to securely access servers and storage sites via desktops, laptops and handheld devices. According to Symantec CEO John Thompson, Altiris is growing two to three times faster than the company's core business.

At current levels, Symantec shares are 19% above the July lows. Even so, I believe the market is already pricing in poor fiscal 2007 results, given the discount to the company's historical average valuation and McAfee. Symantec is not a likely takeover target, but the new $1 billion buyback program should help support the stock. Considering that, I believe near-term downside is limited and that Symantec can trade back up through $20 over the coming quarters.

David Peltier is a research associate at TheStreet.com. In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Peltier appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

Interested in more writings from David Peltier? Check out his newsletters, TheStreet.com Dividend Stock Advisor and TheStreet.com Value Investor.

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