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Palo Alto Networks Inc (PANW), Symantec Corporation (SYMC): Solid Plays in Cybersecurity

Antivirus software

Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC) is well known for its popular Norton line of PC security software. One of the biggest problems holding back Symantec is the company’s lack of software designed to work on networks. The company offers IT companies security, but not network security solutions. While this problem has held the business back, it is not being solved: Instead management is working toward cost cutting and margin boosting strategies that will boost shareholder returns overall. In addition, the board is targeting sales growth of 5% a year, and is looking to improve both the dividend and stock repurchase programs.

Indeed, it would appear that this strategy is working, as the company is set to grow EPS and sales 100% and 16% respectively this year, beating the growth achieved over the past five years. Over the past five years the company has notched sales growth of 3.3% and EPS growth of 18.6%. Elsewhere, the company has a bundle of cash which accounts for around $6.90 per share and trades at a P/S ratio of 2.3 – much cheaper than its peers above.

Foolish summary

The market for global cybersecurity is massive, and these three companies all offer different plays to benefit from the increasing threats of cyber security. Out of all three companies, Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC) looks to be the company that is in the best position to benefit from this trend; the company has plenty of cash and is set to grow rapidly this year. Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ:CHKP) and Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW) look to be relatively overpriced. They should still benefit from the wave of cybercrime hitting business around the globe. However, much of this growth could already be priced in.

Fool contributor Rupert Hargreaves has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Check Point Software Technologies. The Motley Fool owns shares of Check Point Software Technologies.

The article Three Solid Plays in Cybersecurity originally appeared on Fool.com.

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