Will Symantec (SYMC) Stock Respond Today to This Analyst Action?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Jefferies initiated coverage of Symantec Corp. (SYMC) with an "underperform" rating and a price target of $20.

The Mountain View, CA-based security, backup and availability solutions company has been "plagued by structural headwinds and declining customer relevance for several years now," analysts said.

"We believe the path to operational improvement, sustained organic growth, and/or asset value realization will be a long and arduous one. While we are encouraged by the appointment of Michael Brown as CEO, we are not convinced the spin-off of Symantec's storage business will ultimately create value," analysts added.

Shares of Symantec closed up 0.36% at $25.40 yesterday.

Separately, 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 some important positives, 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 stock price during the past year, notable return on equity, reasonable valuation levels, growth in earnings per share and expanding profit margins. 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 stock has risen over the past year as investors have generally rewarded the company for its earnings growth and other positive factors like the ones we have cited in this report. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Software industry and the overall market, SYMANTEC CORP's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • SYMANTEC CORP's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, SYMANTEC CORP increased its bottom line by earning $1.27 versus $1.06 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.90 versus $1.27).
  • The gross profit margin for SYMANTEC CORP is currently very high, coming in at 88.00%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 15.08% trails the industry average.

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