Symantec Jumps on RBC Upgrade as Security Products Demand Rises

Symantec Corp. shares jumped Friday after RBC Capital Markets Corp. upgraded the company to buy from neutral amid growing demand for security products.

The stock rose 3.7 percent to $18.35 at the market open in New York. The shares had fallen 25 percent in the past year.

Symantec, which makes cybersecurity software, is a “value stock that doesn’t have to get a lot right for shares to move higher,” RBC analyst Matthew Hedberg wrote in a note. RBC’s price target of $23 is unchanged.

Low investor expectations, the opportunity to cross-sell new products and automatic renewals that may slow declines in the consumer security business are among the reasons for the upgrade, according to the note. The demand for security products is rising as large companies seek to protect data on more devices, Hedberg wrote.

Mountain View, California-based Symantec’s new Advanced Threat Protection software provides the company with its biggest revenue opportunity this year and next, Chief Financial Officer Thomas Seifert said in an interview in Berlin Friday. The company is on the lookout for acquisitions to gain additional technology and accelerate its unified security strategy, Seifert said.

“With what seems like hundreds of vendors focused on end-point security, we think Symantec has a seat at the table with a large customer base and could become a consolidation play as Intel/McAfee struggles,” Hedberg wrote in the note.

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