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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Symantec, Intuit, General Electric, NetSol Technologies and Compuware

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Symantec, Intuit, General Electric, NetSol
                          Technologies and Compuware

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Jan. 29, 2013

CHICAGO, Jan. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks
featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts
discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.
Stocks recently featured in the blog include Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq:SYMC),
Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq:INTU), General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE), NetSol Technologies
Inc. (Nasdaq:NTWK) and Compuware Corp. (Nasdaq:CPWR).

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from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5513

Here are highlights from Monday's Analyst Blog:

Symantec Upgraded to Strong Buy

On Jan 26, 2013, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Symantec Corp.
(Nasdaq:SYMC) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

With a decent return of 38.9% over the past 6-months and a positive estimate
revision trend, this provider of security solutions is an attractive
investment opportunity.

Why the Upgrade?

An upbeat third quarter 2013, solid restructuring plans to boost margins and
plans to return 50.0% of free cash flow through share buyback and dividends
have contributed to the upgrade.

Symantec reported third quarter earnings per share of 40 cents, ahead of the
Zacks Consensus Estimate of 33 cents and up 2.6% from the year-ago quarter.

Revenues grew 4.4% year over year to $1.79 billion, supported by good
performance across geographies and segments.

Margins were lackluster due to higher operating costs. But solid cash
position, unchanged debt position and continued share repurchase were the
quarter's positives.

There was no explicit guidance disclosed during the earnings call. However,
the company announced plans to increase focus on growing organic revenues and
return 50.0% of free cash flow through share buybacks and dividend payouts.

The company's newly appointed CEO, Steve Bennett, who had been associated with
Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq:INTU) and General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE), also announced
plans to lay off managers and staff across certain operating divisions in
order to boost operating margins. On the other hand, management stated that
research and development expenses would increase on account of new product
launches.

Post earnings release, only one estimate was revised upward for fiscal 2013 in
the last 7 days, leaving the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.47 unchanged.

For the past four quarters, the company has posted an average surprise of
10.5%. Considering the organizational and strategic changes by the CEO,
Symantec has the potential to post a positive earnings surprise in the
upcoming quarter.

Other Stocks to Consider:

Investors could also consider other application solutions providers that are
doing well right now. NetSol Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq:NTWK) has a Zacks Rank
#1 (Strong Buy) and Compuware Corp. (Nasdaq:CPWR) has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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