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Symantec CEO: Our Endpoint Security Is More Effective Than Our Peers

‘If you look at some of the other, bigger players in effectiveness of endpoint, we are a lot, lot better,’ says Symantec CEO Greg Clark.

Symantec CEO Greg Clark said endpoint security startups have enjoyed heavy funding and market share gains, but it's not coming at Symantec's expense.

"If you look at some of the other, bigger players in effectiveness of endpoint, we are a lot, lot better," Clark told Wall Street analysts during the company's earnings call Thursday. "So I believe that some of the growth we're seeing in the other startup companies that are executing reasonably well is coming out of other people's share."

The Mountain View, Calif.-based platform security vendor excels at protecting enterprises against malware in the endpoint, Clark said, leveraging both traditional, signature-based protection and detection technologies, as well as artificial intelligence.

[Related: Symantec Enhances Managed Cloud, CASB To Protect Apps, Platforms]

Symantec is competing well in the AI space, Clark said, with technology that's "extremely powerful" in both detecting and preventing cyberattacks. Plus Symantec has enjoyed some good wins in the endpoint space, Clark said, taking accounts away from others.

Clark said Symantec is very pleased with the effectiveness of its endpoint product from both a size and vision perspective. Symantec was the top-ranked vendor out of the 21 companies evaluated for the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms, and was one of just three businesses – alongside Sophos and Trend Micro – to earn a spot in the leaders quadrant.

Nonetheless, Clark — without naming specific rivals — said Symantec faces stiff competition from heavily-funded, venture-backed startups in the endpoint security space. In 2018 alone, Carbon Black went public in a $152 million offering, while Tanium has received $375 million of outside funding, CrowdStrike has gotten $200 million of outside funding, and Cylance has received $120 million in outside funding.

"The endpoint is a hotly-contested environment," Clark said.

Sales for the quarter ended Sept. 28 decreased to $1.18 billion, down 5.2 percent from $1.24 billion a year earlier. That edged out Seeking Alpha estimates of $1.15 billion.

The company reported a net loss of $8 million, or $0.01 per diluted share, improved from a net loss of $12 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, last year. On a non-GAAP basis, net income increased to $277 million, or $0.42 per diluted share, up from $268 million, or $0.40 per diluted share, a year ago. That beat Seeking Alpha's earnings projection of $0.33 per share.

Symantec's stock jumped 6.78 percent $1.27 to $20 in after-hours trading. Earnings were announced after the market closed Thursday.

Enterprise security sales dropped to $574 million, down 16.3 percent from $686 million the year prior. Consumer digital safety revenue, though, leapfrogged to $601 million, up 8.5 percent from $554 million last year.

For the coming quarter, Symantec expects non-GAAP earnings of $0.37 to $0.41 per diluted share on adjusted sales of $1.16 billion to $1.19 billion. Analysts had been expecting non-GAAP earnings of $0.39 per share on adjusted sales of $1.19 billion, according to Seeking Alpha.

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