Why Symantec (SYMC) Stock Is Up Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Symantec (SYMC) gained 1.1% to $20.25 Friday on news that it is hiring a bank to help defend itself from activist investors.

According to Bloomberg the software company is hiring JPMorgan (JPM) to help explore its options. A similar report from Reuters doesn't specify a bank, but says that some major activist funds "have already started examining the company as a potential target."

"The company commonly engages financial advisers to help with the business," said Symantec's chief communications officer Colleen Lacter told Bloomberg.

The news comes two weeks after Symantec fired CEO Steve Bennett, which made the stock hit new 52-week lows.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates SYMANTEC CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate SYMANTEC CORP (SYMC) a BUY. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, reasonable valuation levels, growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and greatly outperformed compared to the Software industry average. The net income increased by 31.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $216.00 million to $283.00 million.
  • SYMANTEC CORP has improved earnings per share by 33.3% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, SYMANTEC CORP reported lower earnings of $1.05 versus $1.57 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.86 versus $1.05).
  • The gross profit margin for SYMANTEC CORP is currently very high, coming in at 88.15%. Regardless of SYMC's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 16.59% trails the industry average.
  • SYMC, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 10.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 4.8%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: SYMC Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

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