Facebook Rises on $6 Billion Buyback, Symantec Jumps on LifeLock Deal - Tech Roundup

A multi-billion dollar buyback program, a large deal in the cybersecurity market and speculation of improved demand for a tech titan's upcoming smartphone sales helped drive the shares of social networking behemoth Facebook (FB) , security giant Symantec (SYMC) and iconic computer maker Apple (AAPL) .

Facebook investors applauded the company's decision to initiate a $6 billion buyback program, making use of the $26.2 billion in cash and marketable securities that it is sitting on.

That decision apparently helped offset investors' disappointment over Facebook's stock performance over the past month and its recent comments that it expects to experience slower growth in 2017 and larger spending. According to a Forbes report, those events spurred a "mini-panic" with short-term traders.

Meanwhile, while Facebook worked to show investors love, the company's CEO also tried to dispel concern among its users that its business model relies on re-enforcing users' biases, a claim made by venture capitalist Roger McNamee of Elevation Partners.

Facebook faced heat after a BuzzFeed report that users responded and engaged more with the site over fake news stories about the presidential election than news stories from 19 major news organizations.

Facebook shares jumped 4.1% to close at $121.77 per share.

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Symantec advanced after announcing plans to acquire identity protection services company LifeLock (LOCK) for $2.3 billion.

With this deal, Symantec plans to expand its security footprint by combining its Norton security with LifeLock to offer a wider array of products and services beyond malware protection to "digital safety" for consumers, according to Greg Clark, Symantec CEO, in a statement.

The LifeLock acquisition comes at a time when the cybersecurity market is expected to growth to a compounded annual rate of 9.8% to $170 billion from 2015 to 2020, according to research firm MarketsandMarkets.

Symantec climbed 3.2% to end the day at $24.52 per share.


Apple, meanwhile, may be eyeing a potential "blowout" fiscal 2018, according to a Motley Fool report. The assessment comes after Bloomberg noted sources are reporting that the computer maker placed an initial order of 100 million OLED display units over one year with Samsung. And while Bloomberg speculated that Samsung will likely only be able to provide a portion of that order for this year's holiday season, it is, nonetheless, a higher order than the 90 million iPhone units that some analysts are projecting it will sell in the holiday quarter.

If Apple's order for 100 units is in fact true, it may play a role in a blowout fiscal 2018 for Apple, notes the Motley Fool.

Apple's shares rose 1.5% to close the day at $111.73 a share.

<I>This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.</I><I>

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