Analyzing Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) & Qualys (NASDAQ:QLYS)

Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) and Qualys (NASDAQ:QLYS) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, earnings, institutional ownership, profitability, risk, dividends and analyst recommendations.

Volatility & Risk

Symantec has a beta of 1.28, suggesting that its share price is 28% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Qualys has a beta of 1.36, suggesting that its share price is 36% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for Symantec and Qualys, as reported by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Symantec 0 9 3 0 2.25
Qualys 0 9 7 0 2.44

Symantec currently has a consensus target price of $23.22, suggesting a potential upside of 11.86%. Qualys has a consensus target price of $95.60, suggesting a potential upside of 3.42%. Given Symantec’s higher possible upside, equities analysts clearly believe Symantec is more favorable than Qualys.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Symantec and Qualys’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Symantec $4.73 billion 2.71 $31.00 million $1.17 17.74
Qualys $278.89 million 12.85 $57.30 million $1.19 77.68

Qualys has lower revenue, but higher earnings than Symantec. Symantec is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Qualys, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.


This table compares Symantec and Qualys’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Symantec 2.43% 14.94% 5.33%
Qualys 20.27% 18.15% 10.74%

Insider and Institutional Ownership

90.3% of Symantec shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 86.9% of Qualys shares are held by institutional investors. 1.9% of Symantec shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 17.3% of Qualys shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.


Qualys beats Symantec on 11 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Symantec

Symantec Corporation provides cybersecurity products, services, and solutions worldwide. The company operates through two segments, Enterprise Security and Consumer Digital Safety. The Enterprise Security segment provides endpoint and information protection products, including endpoint security, advanced threat protection, and information protection solutions and their related support services; and network and Web security products, such as network security, Web security, and cloud security solutions and their related support services. It also offers consulting, premium support, and cyber security services. The Consumer Digital Safety segment provides Norton Security solutions as a subscription service providing protection for devices against malware, viruses, adware, and ransomware on various platforms; and LifeLock identity theft protection solution that provides identity monitoring, alerts, and restoration to its customers, as well as Norton Wi-Fi Privacy services. The company serves business, government, and public-sector customers; small, medium, and large enterprises; and individuals, households, and small businesses. It markets and sells its products and related services through direct sales force, direct marketing and co-marketing programs, e-commerce and telesales platforms, distributors, Internet-based resellers, system builders, Internet service providers, employee benefits providers, wireless carriers, retailers, original equipment manufacturers, and retail and online stores. Symantec Corporation has strategic alliance with Ernst & Young LLP to help organizations address intellectual property and data, as well as manage cyber risk. The company was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in Mountain View, California.

About Qualys

Qualys, Inc. provides cloud-based security and compliance solutions in the United States and internationally. The company offers Qualys Cloud Apps, which includes Asset Inventory, CMDB Sync, Vulnerability Management, Continuous Monitoring, Cloud Agent, Threat Protection, Security Configuration Assessment, Indication of Compromise, Policy Compliance, PCI Compliance, Security Assessment Questionnaire, File Integrity Monitoring, Web Application Scanning, and Web Application Firewall. Its integrated suite of security and compliance solutions delivered on its Qualys Cloud Platform enables customers to identify IT assets, collect and analyze IT security data, discover and prioritize vulnerabilities, recommend remediation actions, and verify the implementation of such actions. The company also provides core services, including asset tagging and management, reporting and dashboards, questionnaires and collaboration, remediation and workflow, big data correlation and analytics engine, and alerts and notifications, which enable integrated workflows, management and real-time analysis, and reporting across IT security and compliance solutions. The company markets and sells its IT security and compliance solutions to customers directly through its sales teams, as well as indirectly through its network of channel partners, such as security consulting organizations, managed service providers and resellers, and consulting firms. It serves enterprises, government entities, and small and medium-sized businesses in various industries, including education, financial services, government, healthcare, insurance, manufacturing, media, retail, technology, and utilities. The company was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Foster City, California.

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