Market Overview

Symatech to Buy Back Up to $1B in Shares

Symantec Corp. (NASDAQ: SYMC) today announced a new strategy that will streamline and simplify the company so it can deliver significantly improved performance for customers and partners.

Strategy

"Symantec's strategy is clear: We want to enable people, businesses and countries to focus their energies and time on achieving their aspirations, instead of being consumed with how to keep their digital lives safe and protected," said Steve Bennett, Symantec president and chief executive officer. "This is a story about more focus and better execution by Symantec to make things better and easier for our customers and partners. Our path is straightforward: Offer better products and services tailor made for customers, and make it easier for them to research, shop, buy, use, and get the help and support they need."

Offerings

Symantec's goal is to continue to improve its existing products and services, and at the same time develop new, innovative products and services that solve important unmet or underserved needs. Over time customers will have more and better choices that will continue to meet their evolving needs and deliver better value. Symantec is focusing on 10 key areas that combine existing products and services into new, innovative and comprehensive solutions that meet multiple customer needs with integrated and higher value offerings. The overall development process is estimated to take six to 24 months depending on the specific offering.

These future offerings are intended to align with meeting three key customer needs: Making it simple to be productive and protected at home and work; keeping businesses safe and compliant; and keeping business information and applications up and running. As such, Symantec is focusing on and considering the development of offerings in the following core areas: Mobile Workforce Productivity, Norton Protection, Norton Cloud, Information Security Services, Identity/Content-Aware Security Gateway, Data Center Security, Business Continuity, Integrated Backup, Cloud-Based Information Management, and Object Storage Platform.

"Customers will still be able to pick and choose the solutions they want to use, but from a broader menu of innovative products with higher value," Bennett said. "We're not offering packages that they have to take it or leave it. Customers can still decide what's right for them and buy accordingly, but have the added option of migrating to new integrated offerings which provide added flexibility we know they will need to combat constantly evolving threats, particularly via mobile and the cloud."

In order to continue delivering value to customers in the future, Symantec will increase its investment in research and development and homegrown innovation to better meet next generation needs. Symantec will also establish strategic partnerships where it can integrate what it does with others to add even more value for customers. This will help customers stay ahead of increasingly challenging information and protection challenges at the endpoint, network and data center levels.

"There is a huge set of underserved and unmet needs that customers are experiencing with regards to protecting, moving and managing their information on multiple devices," continued Bennett. "With our resources and know-how, we are in a better position to meet those needs than anyone. We have the infrastructure to deliver real value to help customers and this new strategy will improve both our focus and execution. We also have the expertise to know and see what they're going to need next. It's a question of alignment and regaining focus on the current and future needs of customers via a renewed emphasis on innovation plus developing new technology."

Operations and Organization

Symantec's sales process will continue to rely heavily on the channel to manage current customers and free up Symantec's sales force to focus on generating new business. Symantec will also enhance the marketing organization with more strategic resources and capability to accelerate focus and organic growth.

Symantec has created a new Office of the CEO. A small team of executives (chief financial officer, president of products and services, and chief operating officer) has been established to make collective operational and functional decisions with Bennett on a daily basis. Also reporting directly into the CEO are direct reports based on function (such as HR, Finance, Legal, etc.) and the sales geography leaders. A group of extended staff -- including the chief officers of functions such as IT, marketing, communications, and technology -- will be another group reporting into the CEO.

In order to make the company more flexible and able to adapt quicker to the needs of customers, more emphasis will be placed on giving front-line employees greater empowerment, input and discretion in addressing customers' needs on a day to day basis. As such, there will be fewer executives and middle management positions, resulting in a reduction of the workforce. This process is expected to be completed by the end of June 2013.

"Symantec is a strong company with leadership products, brands and great employees," said Bennett. "Past leaders and employees of this company have left an outstanding legacy of assets for us to build upon as we move forward. The next step is to change things that allow us to adapt quicker to the marketplace, and in the end, continue Symantec's tradition and high standards for delivering tremendous value to our employees, customers, partners and shareholders."

Financial Implications

As we execute on our strategy and operational plan we are committed to deliver more than 5% organic revenue growth and non-GAAP operating margins better than 30% over the next two to three years.

The coming year will include significant transitions as we begin to improve our growth capabilities, establish a dedicated renewals team, refocus our direct field sales representatives on new business and eliminate duplicative organization and operating structures. As such, we expect organic revenue growth between 0% and 2% in FY14. However, we have identified many opportunities to drive efficiencies and redeploy resources which will remove duplication and complexity. As a result, we expect non-GAAP operating margins to increase by approximately 200 basis points in FY14. Our initial estimate for severance payments of approximately $275 million will impact cash flows in FY14.

After FY14, organic revenue is expected to build steadily driving a CAGR of more than 5% during the FY15-FY17 period as we execute on our plans. We expect to increase non-GAAP operating margins by another approximately 200 basis points in FY15. As such, we are targeting to reach 30% non-GAAP operating margins by the end of FY15.

Posted-In: News Buybacks

 

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