Shares of cybersecurity pioneer Symantec Corp. (SYMC) are trading up about 16% year to date (YTD) at a price of $24.17 per share on Thursday afternoon.

In 2016, the industry leader restructured its business in order to meet the demands of a new cloud-based economy, posting consecutive earnings beats despite swinging to a loss.

Buyouts Boost Enterprise, Consumer Segments

The global leader in cybersecurity saw its stock start to take off back in June, after it announced plans to acquire cloud-security company Blue Coat Systems. After the $4.65 billion acquisition, Symantec continued its buyout spree with the announcement of a $2.3 billion deal to take over identity- and fraud-protection firm LifeLock Inc. (LOCK). In the most recent six-month period, investors have rallied to Symantec’s stock, lifting it over 17.5%.

Analysts have also applauded Symantec’s latest acquisition targets, maintaining an average one-year price target estimate on the stock at $26.43. Bulls see the integration of Blue Coat bolstering Symantec’s enterprise security segment, which comprised 60% of the firm’s total sales in the most recent quarter. The takeover of LifeLock is set to strengthen the Mountain View, Calif.-based firm’s position in the consumer cybersecurity space, as its traditional Norton Suite has been heavily focused on the declining PC segment. (See also: Behind Symantec’s Recent Buyout Spree.)

What’s Next for the Cybersecurity Industry Pioneer

In Symantec’s most recent fiscal 2017 second-quarter earnings, released at the beginning of November, the firm posted a loss due to expenses linked to the Blue Coat acquisition. Management also highlighted product milestones including its next-gen Symantec Endpoint Protection 14 model, which integrated artificial intelligence with high-demand endpoint security. Moving ahead in 2017, Symantec will focus on gaining share in emerging markets such as the high-growth cloud and Internet of Things (IoT) spaces. 

 

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