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Symantec Shares Climb on H-P Deal

Symantec shares are on the rise after the company extends its software deal with H-P.



) --


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shares are climbing after the company extended its deal to ship its security software on


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Shares of Symantec rose 38 cents, or 2.69%, in Thursday trading, outpacing the broader advance in tech stocks that saw the Nasdaq gain 1.84%.

Symantec, which

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, confirmed its ongoing relationship with H-P during a statement released before market open. There had been speculation that rival McAfee could usurp Symantec's long-standing OEM deal with the tech giant.

In its statement, Symantec confirmed that H-P's consumer desktops, laptops and netbooks will feature a complimentary 60-day subscription to Norton Internet Security. The contract extension is a "multi-year" deal, Symantec added.

"We view this as an incremental positive for Symantec," wrote Todd Weller, an analyst for Stifel Nicolaus, in a note released on Thursday. "While the company has consistently emphasized it is not dependent on any one partner in its consumer business, if Symantec would have lost H-P we believe this would have added to growth concerns."

The H-P deal should also help Symantec continue its recent momentum. Strong consumer sales helped the software maker beat Wall Street's estimates in its recent

fourth-quarter results

, and the company also gave strong first-quarter quidance.

"Investors have been worried that Symantec and H-P might discontinue their relationship, potentially limiting Symantec's consumer reach," added JMP Securities analyst Pat Walravens, in a note. "We view this as a positive development and continue to recommend Symantec because of its security leadership, attractive valuation, and improved product set."

McAfee investors, however shrugged off the news of Symantec's H-P deal. The company's shares rose $1.00, or 3.17%, to $32.59 on Thursday.

-- Reported by James Rogers in New York

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