Private equity firm Thoma Bravo has reportedly approached Symantec about acquiring the U.S. cybersecurity software company. CNBC cited a source familiar with the matter. As a result, shares of Symantec soared 15 percent in mid-morning trading on Tuesday (Nov. 6).
Symantec and Thoma Bravo did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Some of Symantec’s investors include activist hedge fund Starboard Value, as well as private equity firms Bain Capital and Silver Lake.
Earlier this year, Symantec shares dropped nearly $10 in the largest decline since 2001 when the company said its board’s audit committee was in the process of looking at “concerns” flagged by an ex-employee. In addition, the stock was downgraded by several analysts. Symantec said at the time that it alerted the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and that it would continue to keep the government agency apprised of the inquiry. “The investigation is in its early stages and the company cannot predict the duration or outcome of the investigation,” said the company at the time.
The comments on the part of Symantec prompted Rosen Law Firm, a global investor-rights law firm, to announce it is looking into claims, on behalf of Symantec shareholders, that the company may have issued information to the public that was misleading. Symantec’s stock fell sharply on the news of the internal investigation.
For its fiscal fourth quarter, Symantec reported a net loss of $35 million or $0.06 a share, which is narrower than the net loss of $143 million or $0.23 a share in the year-earlier fiscal fourth quarter. Revenue increased 10 percent to $1.22 billion. Wall Street was expecting Symantec to have a profit of $0.39 a share and revenue of $1.19 billion.
For the full year, Wall Street is forecasting revenue of between $4.76 billion and $4.9 billion, which is below the $4.93 billion Wall Street is wanting. The full-year earnings per share (EPS) projection is for $1.50 to $1.65 a share, which is lower than the $1.80 Wall Street forecasted, noted the report.