It has been a remarkable year for Symantec (NASDAQ:NLOK) so far. The cybersecurity giant has benefited from a spike in cyberattacks, which has helped it land more clients for its end-to-end security platform that it has built on the back of a series of acquisitions.
Symantec stock is currently trading at the higher end of its 52-week range, having gained almost 35% in 2017. The company is set to release its fiscal second-quarter report after the market closes on Nov. 1. Will Symantec be able to satisfy investors once again with its upcoming results? Let's find out.
Symantec could surge past expectations
Wall Street expects adjusted earnings of $0.43 per share from Symantec on revenue of $1.27 billion, up substantially from last year's earnings of $0.30 per share and revenue of $1.01 billion. Those numbers are in line with company guidance.
And it won't be surprising if Symantec trumps consensus estimates emphatically, thanks to the Equifax data breach, which affected 143 million Americans last quarter. Equifax monitors consumer credit, so it has a lot of sensitive information at its disposal. Hackers gained access to data such as Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and credit card numbers in one of the worst data breaches. However, this massive attack could be a boon for Symantec as sales of its identity-theft protection package -- LifeLock -- jumped tenfold after the breach.
Symantec executive Fran Rosch explained that LifeLock added 100,000 new clients in the span of just one week after the breach was revealed in early September. What's more, most of the customers chose to go for the plan costing $29.99 a month instead of the discounted subscription of $9.99 per month. So Symantec's upcoming results and outlook will probably get a boost.
The long-term view
The company also is working to please enterprise customers, recently announcing an integrated platform that brings together a variety of prevention and detection security solutions in a single product. The new platform uses machine learning to study new threats and secure customers against them.
More importantly, this integrated solution can be deployed in a cloud-computing environment, allowing enterprises to protect employees across a variety of devices such as mobile, computers, and other wireless hardware (which are commonly known as endpoints). Customers of Symantec's streamlined, evolving security architecture should also be able to lower their operational costs.
This cloud-enabled endpoint security solution will help Symantec tap into the fast-growing cloud security market. Markets and Markets expects this space to at least triple in size over the next five years, hitting $12.7 billion in revenue by 2022.
The growing number of data breaches is opening up a big opportunity for Symantec to grow its client base. In fact, Cybersecurity Ventures forecasts that global cybersecurity spending will exceed $1 trillion from 2017 to 2021, so Symantec is pulling the right strings to benefit from this massive revenue opportunity by upgrading its services.
Overall, Symantec is well-placed to deliver results both in the short run and in the long run, and sustain its terrific stock market momentum. Investor will be looking for a strong second-quarter report.