What happened

Shares of data security specialist Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) jumped as much as 14.4% higher on Friday morning, lifted by Thursday evening's strong third-quarter report.

So what

Symantec's third-quarter sales held steady year over year at $1.21 billion, 3% above Wall Street's consensus estimate of $1.18 billion. On the bottom line, the company reported adjusted earnings of $0.44 per diluted share. That's 10% below the year-ago period's earnings but comfortably ahead of analysts' projections of $0.39 per share. Furthermore, free cash flows rose 22% to land at $319 million.

In a separate press release, Symantec also announced that CFO Nicholas Noviello will leave the company in the coming months to pursue other opportunities. He assumed the CFO title in 2016 after joining Symantec through its buyout of Blue Coat Systems.

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Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

Noviello appears to be leaving on amicable terms, and Symantec posted respectable results in the fourth quarter. It's no surprise to see its share prices surging based on this solid earnings report, though the stock still trades 21% below its year-ago prices. Last year was a rocky road for both the company and its investors.

Anders Bylund has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.