NortonLifeLock Upgraded at Baird on Strong Demand

NortonLifeLock shares were upgraded at Baird, which cited the cybersecurity company's stronger customer count.
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NortonLifeLock  (NLOK) - Get Report shares rose after Baird analyst Jonathan Ruykhaver upgraded the cybersecurity company to outperform from neutral amid strong customer demand.

He raised his share-price target for Norton to $25 from $24. Norton recently traded at $21.55, up 2.4%. 

The Tempe, Ariz., company has thrived since selling its enterprise security unit to Broadcom  (AVGO) - Get Report in 2019, Ruykhaver wrote in a report cited by Bloomberg. 

It has made “significant progress” cutting “stranded costs and improving customer count,” he said.

The customer count has grown for two quarters in a row, after it ceded 1.1 million customers in the two years until the quarter that ended at the beginning of October, he noted.

“Early signs of success in customer count suggest there has been demand for consumer security solutions that the old Symantec was simply not invested in capturing,” Ruykhaver wrote. 

Symantec changed its name to NortonLifeLock after the enterprise sale.

Morningstar analyst Mark Cash offers a mixed assessment of the company.

“With the progress being made, we have more confidence in NortonLifeLock's ability to hit its 50% non-GAAP operating-margin framework,” he wrote in a commentary last month. 

“However, we still expect a challenging market in the long term for consumer cyber protection, and we are maintaining our $17 fair value estimate.”

Still, “as more individuals have their data leaked and hacks make headline news, NortonLifeLock can be a main beneficiary,” Cash said.

NortonLifeLock stock has risen 15% in the past three months, compared with an 8% gain for the S&P 500 index.