Two military and cyber defence stocks to buy now – MoneyWeek

Two military and cyber defence stocks to buy now – MoneyWeek

2。

Symantec(Nasdaq:SYMC),ratedaBUYbyMacquarie?

Everydaytherearenowanestimated50,000onlinehackingattacks。

ManyareallegedlyperpetratedbytheChinesemilitaryandRussia,whohavesetuphundredsoftrainedmilitiadedicatedtoindustrialespionage。

TheBritishgovernmentbelievesthiscoststhecountry£27bneachyear。

Astabletandsmartphoneusesoars,moreinternetbreachesareboundtofollow。

ResearchhouseCanalyspredictsmobilesecurityspendingwillrocket40%ayearfrom$760min2011to$3billionby2015。

Inthepast12monthsalone,thevolumeofAndroidmalwarehasexplodedby400%。

ThisiswhereSymanteccomesin。

Itistheworld’slargestindependentvendorofsecurity,authenticationandstoragesoftwareunderitsthreeflagshipbrands。

ThefirstistheNortonanti-virusapplicationthatprotectsPCs,serversandmobilesagainstinternetworms,spamandcybercrime。

ThesecondistheVerisignTrustproduct,whichcertifieswebsitesandenablesuserstoconfidentlyandsafelypurchasegoodsonline。

ThethirdisitsITbackup(Veritas)andeDiscovery(Clearwire)software,whichallowcompaniestosecurelyandefficientlyarchive,restoreandinterrogatetheir‘mission-critical’data。

Symantec’smainrivalsincludeIBM,EMC,Kaspersky,AutonomyandMcAfee。

Thelatterwassnaffledin2010byIntelfor$7。

7bnincash–equivalenttothreetimessalesand13timesadjustedearningsbeforeinterest,taxandamortisation(EBITA)。

Symanteccouldbethenextinlineinthisconsolidatingindustry–especiallyasitowns1,200-oddpatentsandgenerates39%ofitsrevenuesfromongoingsubscriptions。

Mostoftheworld’sonebillioncomputersalreadyrunsomeformofanti-virussoftware。

By2020,therecouldbeanother50billioninternet-connectedgadgets,includingTVs,cars,medicaldevicesandcashmachines。

Nearlyallofthemwillneedsomesortofprotection。

Infact,mobilephonesalreadyaccountfor4%ofSymantec’sconsumerrevenuesandthisisexpectedtogrowquicklyinlinewithdealssuchastheonestruckbyAOLrecently,wherebyitprovidessecurityandback-uptoallitspaidsubscribers。

WallStreetisforecasting2011turnoverandunderlyingearningspershare(EPS)of$6。

7bnand$1。

62respectively,risingto$6。

9bnand$1。

80in2012。

Onthisbasis,IvalueSymanteconatentimesEBITAmultiple。

Adjustingforthe$241mincash,thatsuggestsanintrinsicworthof$23ashare。

Withthenumberofpotentialendusersexpandingrapidly,Symantec’shighrenewalratesandexcellentproductsarewellplaced–eveninthefaceofsomebigeconomicheadwindsandpotentialnewentrantssuchasMicrosoft。

UKinvestorsneedtofactorinforeignexchangeaswell,since55%ofrevenuesarederivedfromNorthAmerica。

Macquariehasa$24pricetarget。

Quarterlyearningsarescheduledfor25January。

Rating:BUYat$17。

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