Symantec CEO Tells Turnaround Tale
Weighed down by execution issues until just a couple of years ago, Symantec has now met or exceeded Wall Street's revenue and earnings estimates for the last six quarters. Shares of the software specialist, which competes with EMC(EMC) in storage and McAfee, now part of Intel(INTC) , in security, have climbed almost 8% this year.
|Symantec CEO Enrique Salem|
In an interview, Salem cited strength in data-loss prevention, authentication, managed security services and backup offerings as boosting the third-quarter results. "Those four areas continue to do well for us," he explained. "We're executing very well with our security portfolio."
As for Symantec's broader turnaround, the CEO attributed the improved performance to two key initiatives; an intense marketing focus on data and identity protection and a revamped sales strategy.
"Sales execution is something that we have absolutely improved," he explained. "We're able to do a great job of cross-selling our portfolio;
Thanks to its cross-selling efforts, Symantec's large deals also hit an all-time high during the quarter. In the enterprise side of its business, the company clinched 674 transactions valued at more than $300,000, a hike of 24% compared to the prior year's quarter. Some 78% of these transactions included multiple products.
The execution story certainly resonated with analysts, who put out a flurry of research notes Thursday.
"The company continues to build a solid track record of being able to more consistently deliver positive results," noted Todd Weller, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus, who has a buy rating on Symantec. "We believe this was evidenced by continued solid growth in large transactions marked by transactions of over $300,000."