The $2.3 billion purchase of identity protection company LifeLock (LOCK) should kick-start growth in Symantec's (SYMC) lagging consumer security business, CEO Greg Clark told investors in a Monday call.
Few targets in the consumer cyber-security market could have moved the needle for Symantec, which has a $15 billion market cap and about $4 billion in projected annual revenue. The purchase comes just months after Symantec closed the $4.7 billion purchase of Blue Coat Systems, which serves enterprises and government clients. Management will have to balance two major purchases in different segments of the cyber-security market.
"There wasn't an easy fix to the consumer business unit without LifeLock," said Wunderlich Securities analyst Bill Choi.
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Symantec owns the Norton antivirus software brand and mobile security products. It recently launched an identity protection product akin to LifeLock.
Symantec expects its consumer security revenue to drop about 6% in the third fiscal quarter of 2017 to about $400 million. The company forecasts a 25% to 28% rise in enterprise sales, to about $640 million.
Achieving growth in the consumer segment was taking too long, Choi suggested.
"There's hope for mobile but, let's be frank, most people aren't buying security products to protect their cell phones," the analyst said. "Identity protection is something that people are paying for, in higher prices than even malware protection."