Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report issued on Saturday.

According to Zacks, “Estimates have remained unchanged, of late, ahead of Symantec’s Q3 earnings release. The company has a mixed record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. We remain cautious about this internet-security provider's performance due to faster-than-expected shift in booking mix, which will have long-term benefits but will impede near-term revenue growth. Additionally, we consider that although the sale of its certified authority business will avoid conflicts with Alphabet, the loss of high-margin business might hurt Symantec’s profitability in the near future. Furthermore, changing customer spending behavior makes us pretty skeptical about its performance. Moreover, heightening competition from existing and new companies remain headwinds. The uncertainty over PC sales adds to its woes. The stock has underperformed the industry over the past year.”

A number of other brokerages have also issued reports on SYMC. Standpoint Research lowered Symantec from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, October 9th. Cowen lowered Symantec from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $31.00 price target for the company. in a research note on Monday, October 9th. Morgan Stanley lowered Symantec from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and decreased their price target for the company from $37.00 to $34.00 in a research note on Tuesday, October 10th. Evercore ISI reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $25.00 price target on shares of Symantec in a research note on Thursday, November 2nd. Finally, Barclays reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $36.00 price target on shares of Symantec in a research note on Thursday, November 2nd. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have assigned a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $31.96.

Symantec (SYMC) opened at $27.46 on Friday. Symantec has a fifty-two week low of $25.65 and a fifty-two week high of $34.20. The stock has a market capitalization of $17,024.71, a P/E ratio of -68.65, a P/E/G ratio of 2.78 and a beta of 1.08. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.72, a current ratio of 1.12 and a quick ratio of 1.12.

Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 1st. The technology company reported $0.40 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.26 by $0.14. Symantec had a positive return on equity of 12.33% and a negative net margin of 5.29%. The business had revenue of $1.28 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.27 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.30 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 25.7% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts anticipate that Symantec will post 1.05 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, CFO Nicholas R. Noviello sold 375,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, November 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $29.38, for a total value of $11,017,500.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 565,319 shares in the company, valued at $16,609,072.22. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Francis C. Rosch sold 57,103 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.42, for a total value of $1,565,764.26. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 325,026 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,912,212.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.30% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Numeric Investors LLC raised its holdings in shares of Symantec by 168.5% during the second quarter. Numeric Investors LLC now owns 54,500 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $1,540,000 after acquiring an additional 34,200 shares in the last quarter. Oakbrook Investments LLC raised its holdings in shares of Symantec by 99.7% during the third quarter. Oakbrook Investments LLC now owns 51,180 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $1,679,000 after acquiring an additional 25,550 shares in the last quarter. Comerica Bank raised its holdings in shares of Symantec by 3.4% during the third quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 153,203 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $4,965,000 after acquiring an additional 5,105 shares in the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its holdings in shares of Symantec by 47.2% during the third quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 423,593 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $13,898,000 after acquiring an additional 135,857 shares in the last quarter. Finally, WINTON GROUP Ltd raised its holdings in shares of Symantec by 58.6% during the third quarter. WINTON GROUP Ltd now owns 634,662 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $20,823,000 after acquiring an additional 234,374 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 94.85% of the company’s stock.

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About Symantec

Symantec Corporation is a United States-based cyber security company. The Company offers products under categories, such as threat protection, information protection and cyber security services. Under threat protection, it offers Advanced Threat Protection, Endpoint Protection, Endpoint Protection Cloud, IT Management Suite, Email Security, Cloud, Data Center Security and Cloud Workload Protection products.

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