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Instant Analysis: Symantec Beats on Q3 Revenue, EPS

By Eric Volkman - Feb 8, 2016 at 5:40PM

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The company comes out slightly ahead of analyst estimates, while announcing a big investment from a private equity operator.

What happened?
Shares of Symantec (NLOK -0.62%) rose slightly following the Feb. 4 release of the company's fiscal Q3 2016 results. For the quarter, revenue slipped by 6% on a year-over-year basis, to land at $909 million, while adjusted net income fell by 25%, to $172 million ($0.26 per diluted share). Those figures beat analyst projections, which, on average, anticipated just less than $906 billion on the top line and EPS of $0.24.

Symantec also proffered guidance on its current Q4. The company believes it will post revenue of $885 million to $915 million, with adjusted and diluted EPS coming in at $0.24 to $0.27. Those projections are in line with the average analyst estimates of $902 million and $0.25, respectively.

On the same day as the Q3 earnings release, Symantec announced that it is to receive a $500 million investment from private equity player Silver Lake Management. In return, Silver Lake will be awarded one seat on the company's board of directors.

Does it matter?
Symantec is a company on the move. Last month, it wrapped up the divestment of its big data storage-and-recovery unit Veritas to a consortium of investors led by financial services concern Carlyle Group (CG). The idea is to slim down to the core cybersecurity business, the activity that Symantec is best known for.

Carlyle Group and its associates are paying $7.4 billion for Veritas, which will amount to $5.3 billion in after-tax proceeds for Symantec. The company says those monies will be returned to shareholders in the form of special and regular dividends, plus stock buybacks.

The Carlyle Group consortium is saving a few million dollars; it managed to get that price reduced from the originally agreed $8 billion. Symantec's willingness to forgo that kind of money indicates that it's ready and eager to get on with life as a leaner, more-focused entity.

It's a big shift, and if effected well, it'll make the company a better contender in the cybersecurity space. However, that segment is crowded, with a host of big competitors and lean, young enterprises hungry for share. So this won't be an easy battle to wage.

Eric Volkman has no position in any stocks mentioned. Nor does The Motley Fool. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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