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SYMC > SEC Filings for SYMC > Form 10-K on 16-May-2014All Recent SEC Filings

Show all filings for SYMANTEC CORP



Annual Report

Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations


Our business

Symantec Corporation protects the world's information and is a global leader in security, backup and availability solutions. Our market leading products and services protect people and information in any environment - from the smallest mobile device, to the enterprise data center, to cloud-based systems. Founded in April 1982, Symantec operates one of the largest global threat-intelligence networks, and provides leading security, backup and availability solutions. The company has more than 20,000 employees in more than 50 countries. Our Internet home page is Other than the information expressly set forth in this annual report, the information contained or referred to on our website is not part of this annual report.

Fiscal calendar

We have a 52/53-week fiscal year ending on the Friday closest to March 31. Unless otherwise stated, references to years in this report relate to fiscal year and periods ended March 28, 2014, March 29, 2013 and March 30, 2012. Fiscal 2014, 2013, and 2012 each consisted of 52 weeks. Our 2015 fiscal year will consist of 53 weeks and will end on April 3, 2015.

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The recent transformation of business and consumer technologies has driven pervasive mobility and an explosion of data resulting in the need for a new approach to protecting devices, applications, data and users. Further, the emergence of the Internet of Things, where new devices and everyday objects are becoming networked and connected to the Internet for the first time, highlights the need for comprehensive information security and management solutions to protect valuable data. We believe that the market for security and management solutions will benefit from these trends. As a platform-independent software company without bias to any individual operating system or hardware environment, Symantec helps customers manage more technologies with greater efficiency and on a wide range of virtual and mobile platforms.

In January 2013, we announced our strategy to transition from being device-centric or protecting endpoints and the data center, to having a broader focus of protecting and managing digital information. We track a vast number of threat indicators across the Internet and continuously collect new telemetry from hundreds of millions of mobile devices, endpoints, and servers across the globe. This massive amount of security data, combined with our years of experience analyzing such data allows us to provide advanced intelligence and protection for all of our customers.

During fiscal year 2014, we implemented changes in three areas: simplifying our organizational structure, redesigning our GTM strategy, and changing our product offerings.

Simplifying our Organizational Structure

We aligned our organization by functional areas, rather than by market segments in order to reduce complexity, remove redundancies, increase the speed of decision making, and improve accountability and execution. We reduced the number of management layers from our previous structure and increased the average span of control for managers.

Redesigning our Go-To-Market Strategy

We split our direct field sales team into security and information management specialists focused on new business only and expanded their territories to be more effective for our enterprise customers. We also built a renewals group in order to extend the customer relationship and make it easier to renew and do business with us. We redesigned our global channel strategy focused on building partner competency, rewarding performance, and customer satisfaction.

Changing our Product Offerings

With a portfolio of leading products, we focused our development efforts on making our point solutions better, designing new integrated solutions, and expanding our offerings by partnering with network security vendors to offer solutions that provide multi-tier protection.

Financial Implications of New Strategy

We have developed a three-pronged approach to our product offering strategy which includes managing our portfolio of point solutions and reallocating resources to the offerings we estimate have the greatest growth potential, expanding our total addressable market by delivering innovative new offerings that integrate our technologies to solve our customers' most significant problems, and focusing on developing relationships with other industry leaders that will begin the process of building ecosystems that delivers more value to our customers.

We believe that sales and marketing of our innovative and differentiated products are enhanced by knowledgeable salespeople who can convey the strong value of our technology. As such, we restructured the

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sales organization into new and renewals business teams. We also reorganized our direct sales force into functional areas of information security and information management. The focus of these specialized teams is to generate new business through new customer acquisition or through broadening existing customer relationships. We expect that by separating our direct sales force into specialized teams and focusing on new business, we will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our sales process. Concurrently, we created a dedicated renewals team that is focused on extending existing customer relationships and renewing contracts.

We are also investing in our indirect sales channels to build stronger, more strategic relationships that enable us to better serve consumers, small business and mid-market customers. Through our channel partner program we are seeking to align our offerings with the optimal route to market, leveraging our channel partner capabilities. We also plan to align the economics and incentives under these relationships based on the value created by the partner and their commitment to Symantec and our customers. We believe these changes will help us provide our end customer with high-quality sales and post-sales support experiences while expanding our business.

As part of our enhanced capital allocation strategy, in fiscal 2014 we initiated a quarterly cash dividend in addition to our on-going share repurchases activity. We paid a quarterly dividend in the amount of $0.15 per share of common stock in each quarter of fiscal 2014, for an aggregate of $418 million or $0.60 per share, during fiscal 2014. All shares of common stock issued and outstanding, and unvested restricted stock and performance-based stock as of the record date for any dividend will be entitled to the dividend and dividend equivalents, respectively. Any future dividends and dividend equivalents will be subject to the approval of our board of directors.

Our revenue, income and cash flows may be impacted by severance, other charges, and capital expenditures as we execute our organic growth strategy.

New enterprise resource planning system

During the third quarter of fiscal 2014, following our final testing and data conversion stages, we implemented the critical financial reporting module of a new enterprise resource planning ("ERP") system. The costs, other than capital expenditures, associated with this first phase of implementation of the core operating systems have been recorded in operating expenses as restructuring and transition expenses.

Change in management

On March 20, 2014, the board of directors of the Company appointed board member Michael A. Brown as interim president and CEO, following the termination of Stephen M. Bennett as the Company's president and chief executive officer. Mr. Bennett also resigned from the Company's board of directors. This change within our management leadership team resulted in certain severance and accelerated stock based compensation expenses.

Our operating segments

Our current operating segments are strategic business units that offer different products and services distinguished by customer needs. In the first quarter of fiscal 2014, we modified our segment reporting structure to more readily match the new operating structure. The three reporting segments, which are the same as our operating segments are as follows: User Productivity & Protection, Information Security, and Information Management. For further description of our operating segments see Note 10 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in this annual report.

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Financial results and trends

Revenue decreased by $230 million for fiscal 2014 as compared to fiscal 2013, primarily due to decreases in revenue from our User Productivity & Protection segment and Information Management segment following the transition of our sales force into new and renewal business teams. We experienced revenue declines domestically and internationally in fiscal 2014 as compared to fiscal 2013. The Asia Pacific and Japan region experienced the largest net revenue decrease followed by Americas, while the EMEA region experienced net revenue growth for fiscal 2014 as compared to fiscal 2013. The Asia Pacific and Japan region revenue declined primarily due to foreign currency translation adjustments resulting from the weakening of the Japanese yen compared to the U.S. dollar, while we experienced favorable foreign currency effects in the EMEA region.

Cost of revenue decreased by $26 million for fiscal 2014 as compared to fiscal 2013, primarily due to decreases in revenue and decreases in intangible assets amortization as certain developed technologies became fully amortized early in fiscal 2014.

Operating expenses decreased by $281 million for fiscal 2014 as compared to fiscal 2013, primarily due to lower salaries and wages resulting from lower headcount, lower advertising and promotion expenses and lower amortization of intangible assets as various customer relationship intangibles became fully amortized early in fiscal 2014. For fiscal 2014, we recognized $270 million of restructuring and transition costs. We are focused on five priorities for fiscal 2015. These include optimizing our businesses based on lifecycle and growth potential; prioritizing investments for growth in our enterprise businesses; further reducing costs and improving efficiencies across the company; rounding out our talented executive team; and continuing to return significant cash to shareholders.


The preparation of our Consolidated Financial Statements and related notes included in this annual report in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States, requires us to make estimates, including judgments and assumptions, that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenue, and expenses, and related disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities. We have based our estimates on historical experience and on various assumptions that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances. We evaluate our estimates on a regular basis and make changes accordingly. Historically, our critical accounting estimates have not differed materially from actual results; however, actual results may differ from these estimates under different conditions. If actual results differ from these estimates and other considerations used in estimating amounts reflected in our Consolidated Financial Statements included in this annual report, the resulting changes could have a material adverse effect on our Consolidated Statements of Income, and in certain situations, could have a material adverse effect on our liquidity and financial condition.

A critical accounting estimate is based on judgments and assumptions about matters that are uncertain at the time the estimate is made. Different estimates that reasonably could have been used or changes in accounting estimates could materially impact our operating results or financial condition. We believe that the estimates described below represent our critical accounting estimates, as they have the greatest potential impact on our Consolidated Financial Statements. See also Note 1 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in this annual report.

Revenue recognition

We recognize revenue primarily pursuant to the requirements under the authoritative guidance on software revenue recognition, and any applicable amendments or modifications. Revenue recognition requirements in the software industry are very complex and require us to make estimates.

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For software arrangements that include multiple elements, including perpetual software licenses and maintenance or services, packaged products with content updates, and subscriptions, we allocate and defer revenue for the undelivered items based on the fair value using vendor specific objective evidence ("VSOE"), and recognize the difference between the total arrangement fee and the amount deferred for the undelivered items as revenue. VSOE of each element is based on the price for which the undelivered element is sold separately. We determine fair value of the undelivered elements based on historical evidence of our stand-alone sales of these elements to third parties or from the stated renewal rate for the undelivered elements. When VSOE does not exist for undelivered items, the entire arrangement fee is recognized ratably over the performance period. Our deferred revenue consists primarily of the unamortized balance of enterprise product maintenance, consumer product content updates, managed security services, subscriptions, and arrangements where VSOE does not exist. Deferred revenue totaled approximately $3.9 billion as of March 28, 2014, of which $581 million was classified as long-term deferred revenue in our Consolidated Balance Sheets. Changes to the elements in a software arrangement, the ability to identify VSOE for those elements, the fair value of the respective elements, and increasing flexibility in contractual arrangements could materially impact the amount recognized in the current period and deferred over time.

For arrangements that include both software and non-software elements, we allocate revenue to the software deliverables as a group and non-software deliverables based on their relative selling prices. In such circumstances, the accounting principles establish a hierarchy to determine the selling price to be used for allocating revenue to deliverables as follows: (i) VSOE,
(ii) third-party evidence of selling price ("TPE") and (iii) best estimate of the selling price ("ESP"). When we are unable to establish a selling price using VSOE or TPE, we use ESP to allocate the arrangement fees to the deliverables.

For our consumer products that include content updates, we recognize revenue and the associated cost of revenue ratably over the term of the subscription upon sell-through to end-users, as the subscription period commences on the date of sale to the end-user. We defer revenue and cost of revenue amounts for unsold product held by our distributors and resellers.

We expect our distributors and resellers to maintain adequate inventory of consumer packaged products to meet future customer demand, which is generally four or six weeks of customer demand based on recent buying trends. We ship product to our distributors and resellers at their request and based on valid purchase orders. Our distributors and resellers base the quantity of orders on their estimates to meet future customer demand, which may exceed the expected level of a four or six week supply. We offer limited rights of return if the inventory held by our distributors and resellers is below the expected level of a four or six week supply. We estimate reserves for product returns as described below. We typically offer liberal rights of return if inventory held by our distributors and resellers exceeds the expected level. Because we cannot reasonably estimate the amount of excess inventory that will be returned, we primarily offset deferred revenue against trade accounts receivable for the amount of revenue in excess of the expected inventory levels.

Arrangements for maintenance, subscriptions, managed security services and SaaS offerings are generally offered to our customers over a specified period of time, and we recognize the related revenue ratably over the maintenance, subscription, or service period.

Reserves for product returns. We reserve for estimated product returns as an offset to revenue or deferred revenue based primarily on historical trends. We fully reserve for obsolete products in the distribution channels as an offset to deferred revenue. Actual product returns may be different than what was estimated. These factors and unanticipated changes in the economic and industry environment could make actual results differ from our return estimates.

Reserves for rebates. We estimate and record reserves for channel and end-user rebates as an offset to revenue or deferred revenue. For consumer products that include content updates, rebates are recorded as a ratable offset to revenue or deferred revenue over the term of the subscription. Our estimated reserves for channel

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volume incentive rebates are based on distributors' and resellers' actual performance against the terms and conditions of volume incentive rebate programs, which are typically entered into quarterly. Our reserves for end-user rebates are estimated based on the terms and conditions of the promotional programs, actual sales during the promotion, the amount of actual redemptions received, historical redemption trends by product and by type of promotional program, and the value of the rebate. We also consider current market conditions and economic trends when estimating our reserves for rebates. If actual redemptions differ from our estimates, material differences may result in the amount and timing of our net revenues for any period presented.

Valuation of goodwill, intangible assets and long-lived assets

Business combination valuations. When we acquire businesses, we allocate the purchase price to tangible assets and liabilities and identifiable intangible assets acquired. Any residual purchase price is recorded as goodwill. The allocation of the purchase price requires management to make significant estimates in determining the fair values of assets acquired and liabilities assumed, especially with respect to intangible assets. These estimates are based on information obtained from management of the acquired companies and historical experience. These estimates can include, but are not limited to:

cash flows that an asset is expected to generate in the future;

expected costs to develop the in-process research and development into commercially viable products and estimated cash flows from the projects when completed;

the acquired company's brand and competitive position, as well as assumptions about the period of time the acquired brand will continue to be used in the combined company's product portfolio;

cost savings expected to be derived from acquiring an asset; and

discount rates.

These estimates are inherently uncertain and unpredictable, and if different estimates were used, the purchase price for the acquisition could be allocated to the acquired assets and liabilities differently from the allocation that we have made. In addition, unanticipated events and circumstances may occur which may affect the accuracy or validity of such estimates, and if such events occur we may be required to record a charge against the value ascribed to an acquired asset or an increase in the amounts recorded for assumed liabilities.

Goodwill impairment. We review goodwill for impairment on an annual basis on the first day of the fourth quarter of each fiscal year, and on an interim basis whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value may not be recoverable, at the reporting unit level. Our reporting units are the same as our operating segments. A qualitative assessment is first made to determine whether it is necessary to perform quantitative testing. This initial assessment includes, among others, consideration of: (i) past, current and projected future earnings and equity; (ii) recent trends and market conditions; and (iii) valuation metrics involving similar companies that are publicly-traded and acquisitions of similar companies, if available. If this initial qualitative assessment indicates that it is more likely than not that impairment exists, a second step is taken, involving a comparison between the estimated fair values of our reporting units with their respective carrying amounts including goodwill. The methods for estimating reporting unit values include asset and liability fair values and other valuation techniques, such as discounted cash flows and multiples of earnings or revenues. If the carrying value exceeds estimated fair value, there is an indication of potential impairment, and a third step is performed to measure the amount of impairment. The third step involves calculating an implied fair value of goodwill by measuring the excess of the estimated fair value of the reporting units over the aggregate estimated fair values of the individual assets less liabilities. If the carrying value of goodwill exceeds the implied fair value of goodwill, an impairment charge is recorded for the excess.

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The process of estimating the fair value and carrying value of our reporting units' equity requires significant judgment at many points during the analysis. Many assets and liabilities, such as accounts receivable and property and equipment, are not specifically allocated to an individual reporting unit, and therefore, we apply judgment to allocate the assets and liabilities, and this allocation affects the carrying value of the respective reporting units. Similarly, we use judgment to allocate goodwill to the reporting units based on relative fair values. The use of relative fair values has been necessary for certain reporting units due to changes in our operating structure in prior years. To determine a reporting unit's fair value, we use the income approach under which we calculate the fair value of each reporting unit based on the estimated discounted future cash flows of that unit. We evaluate the reasonableness of this approach by comparing it with the market approach, which involves a review of the carrying value of our assets relative to our market capitalization and to the valuation of publicly traded companies operating in the same or similar lines of business.

Applying the income approach requires that we make a number of important estimates and assumptions. We estimate the future cash flows of each reporting unit based on historical and forecasted revenue and operating costs. This, in turn, involves further estimates, such as estimates of future revenue and expense growth rates. In addition, we apply a discount rate to the estimated future cash flows for the purpose of the valuation. This discount rate is based on the estimated weighted-average cost of capital for each reporting unit and may change from year to year. Changes in these key estimates and assumptions, or in other assumptions used in this process, could materially affect our impairment analysis for a given year.

As of March 28, 2014, our goodwill balance was $5.9 billion amongst our reporting units. Based on a qualitative impairment analysis performed as of December 28, 2013, we determined that it was more likely than not that there was no impairment in any of our reporting units.

A number of factors, many of which we have no ability to control, could affect our financial condition, operating results and business prospects and could cause actual results to differ from the estimates and assumptions we employed. These factors include:

a prolonged global economic crisis;

a significant decrease in the demand for our products;

the inability to develop new and enhanced products and services in a timely manner;

a significant adverse change in legal factors or in the business climate;

an adverse action or assessment by a regulator;

successful efforts by our competitors to gain market share in our markets;

a loss of key personnel;

our determination to dispose of one or more of our reporting units;

the testing for recoverability of a significant asset group within a reporting unit; and

recognition of a goodwill impairment loss.

Intangible asset impairment. We assess the impairment of identifiable finite-lived intangible assets whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that an asset group's carrying amount may not be recoverable. Recoverability of certain finite-lived intangible assets, particularly customer relationships and finite-lived trade names, would be measured by the comparison of the carrying amount of the asset group to which the

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assets are assigned to the sum of the undiscounted estimated future cash flows the asset group is expected to generate. If an asset is considered to be impaired, the amount of such impairment would be measured as the difference between the carrying amount of the asset and its fair value. Recoverability and impairment of other finite-lived intangible assets, particularly developed technology and patents, would be measured by the comparison of the carrying amount of the asset to the sum of undiscounted estimated future product revenues offset by estimated future costs to dispose of the product to which the asset relates. For indefinite-lived intangible assets, we review impairment on an annual basis consistent with the timing of the annual evaluation for goodwill. These assets generally include trade names and trademarks. Similar to goodwill impairment testing, a qualitative assessment is first made to determine whether it is necessary to perform quantitative testing. This initial assessment includes consideration of, among other things: (i) past, current and projected future revenues; (ii) recent trends and market conditions, including discount rates; and (iv) valuation metrics, such as royalty rates, involving similar companies that are publicly-traded, if available. If this initial qualitative assessment indicates that it is more likely than not that impairment exists, a second step is taken. This step involves a comparison between the fair values of the assets and their respective carrying amounts. Any excess of the carrying amount over the fair value would be recognized as an impairment charge. Our cash flow assumptions are based on historical and forecasted future revenue, operating costs, and other relevant factors. Assumptions and estimates about the remaining useful lives of our intangible assets are subjective and are affected by changes to our business strategies. If management's estimates of future operating results change, or if there are changes to other assumptions, the estimate of the fair value of our identifiable intangible assets could change significantly. Such change could result in impairment charges in future periods, which could have a significant impact on our operating results and financial condition.

Long-lived assets. We assess long-lived assets for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of the long-lived assets may not be recoverable. Based on the existence of one or more indicators of impairment, we assess recoverability of long-lived assets based on a projected undiscounted cash flow method using assumptions determined by . . .

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