As the cold snap continues in much of the country, many of us are still fending off viruses. Fortunately, most of us possess a healthy immune system that can detect and render most viruses impotent.
Similarly, my pick today,
provides an immune system for your PC, detecting and eradicating potentially lethal computer viruses. Hence, Symantec is a healthy pick in these uncertain times.
The Internet has played an crucial role in uniting and connecting many different communities and businesses throughout the world. This process only continues to expand as home and office networks, which started out as networks of computers, have expanded to incorporate all sorts of mobile devices. Networking increases business productivity significantly and provides the ability for many people to access information quickly and efficiently.
However, these benefits do not come for free.
Allowing for easy access to data increases the opportunity for online predators who steal data and spread viruses. In order to protect information, companies and individuals spend billions of dollars on computer and Internet security. One company that stands out from the pack is Symantec.
Symantec provides full security systems for all kinds of networks, personal computers and laptops. In addition, Symantec provides data backup, archive and restore software that plays an integral role in keeping data safely stored and up to date.
In January, Symantec's stock price took a significant hit after reporting lower-than-expected third-quarter earnings and lowering its year-end forecasts. At its Tuesday close of $17.10, the stock is now 23% below its 52-week high. Symantec acquired Veritas to help boost its data-center management unit, but that segment played a role in the lower earnings.
In response, management took action to cut $200 million in costs. Although employee layoffs are never a welcome event, they do boost a company's profit margin, which should help increase the stock price.
On the revenue-enhancement side, the company recently completed its acquisition of Altiris, a software maker providing security for handheld devices. The surge in handheld devices and their core status in business have placed a special priority and emphasis on mobile device security. This purchase lets Symantec provide universal coverage for networks and gives it a further advantage over rival
With an incredibly strong free cash flow of $1.27 billion and a forward P/E of 15.69, Symantec makes for an excellent investment opportunity. To capitalize on this, I will place a limit order to buy 10 contracts of the October 15s (SYQJC) at $3.20.
Now let's look at how my recent picks are faring.
At the time of publication, Dykstra had no positions in stocks mentioned.
Nicknamed "Nails" for his tough style of play during his Major League Baseball career, Lenny Dykstra was an integral member of the powerful Mets of the mid-1980s, including the world champion 1986 squad, and the Phillies in the early 1990s.
Today, Dykstra manages his own stock portfolio and serves as president of several of his privately held companies, including car washes; a partnership with Castrol in "Team Dykstra" Quick Lube Centers; a state-of-the-art ConocoPhillips fueling facility; a real estate development company; and a new venture to develop several "I Sold It on eBay" stores throughout high-demographic areas of Southern California.