Symantec Set to Sail on Uptick in Security Spending - TheStreet

CUPERTINO, Calif. (

TheStreet

) --

Growing demand

for storage and security software is buoying security specialist

Symantec

(SYMC) - Get Report

, which releases its third-quarter results today after market close.

The software maker, which competes with

McAfee

(MFE)

and

ArcSight

(ARST)

, has faced

heightened competition from these smaller players

in recent years, not to mention a

tough

economic climate.

But Symantec has been ramping up the

pressure

on its rivals, recently clinching a deal with

Comcast

(CMCSA) - Get Report

that will see the communications giant offering Symantec software to high speed Internet customers -- a contract previously held by McAfee.

Symantec is also expected to reap the benefits of a major

restructuring

effort during the coming quarters.

Macquarie Securities upgraded Symantec's shares to 'Outperform' last week and raised the company's price target from $18 to $22, citing much-improved execution.

"Our conversations indicate a much higher degree of urgency in the field," wrote Brad Zelnick, an analyst at Macquarie. "While we do not yet credit the company with having completely turned the corner, we believe the worst is behind Symantec."

Jefferies & Company analyst Katherine Egbert feels that Symantec is well positioned to gain additional revenue as companies upgrade to

Microsoft's

(MSFT) - Get Report

Windows 7 and refresh their software infrastructure. Specifically, she predicts that Symantec's 2007

acquisition

of system management specialist

Altiris

will prove key.

"Altiris made its name and was brought public based on the strength of its solution for deploying and managing Windows XP upgrades," she wrote. "We expect Symantec to see upside related to Windows 7 migrations starting this calendar year."

However, investors looking for a massive third-quarter revenue and earnings hike are likely to be disappointed. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect Symantec to post third-quarter revenue of $1.51 billion and earnings of 37 cents a share, compared to $1.51 billion and 42 cents a share over the prior year's quarter.

Symantec shares closed down 1 cent, or 0.05%, at $18.46 in Tuesday trading.

-- Reported by James Rogers in New York

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