Symantec Corporation (SYMC) & Zendesk (ZEN) Critical Comparison

Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ: SYMC) and Zendesk (NYSE:ZEN) are both mid-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, risk, dividends, earnings, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations and valuation.


This table compares Symantec Corporation and Zendesk’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Symantec Corporation -8.68% 10.73% 2.33%
Zendesk -29.34% -32.10% -20.12%


Symantec Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.30 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.9%. Zendesk does not pay a dividend. Symantec Corporation pays out -49.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Risk & Volatility

Symantec Corporation has a beta of 1.12, suggesting that its stock price is 12% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Zendesk has a beta of 1.81, suggesting that its stock price is 81% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation & Earnings

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

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Symantec Corporation $4.31 billion 4.56 $714.00 million ($0.61) -52.56
Zendesk $363.62 million 8.24 -$86.63 million ($1.10) -27.09

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

Insider and Institutional Ownership

91.5% of Symantec Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 96.0% of Zendesk shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.3% of Symantec Corporation shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 5.3% of Zendesk shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Symantec Corporation and Zendesk, as reported by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Symantec Corporation 2 14 10 0 2.31
Zendesk 1 1 10 0 2.75

Symantec Corporation currently has a consensus target price of $31.43, suggesting a potential downside of 1.95%. Zendesk has a consensus target price of $31.90, suggesting a potential upside of 7.05%. Given Zendesk’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Zendesk is more favorable than Symantec Corporation.


Symantec Corporation beats Zendesk on 8 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Symantec Corporation Company Profile

Symantec Corporation is a United States-based cyber security company. The Company offers products under categories, such as threat protection, information protection, cyber security services and Website security. Under threat protection, it offers Advanced Threat Protection, Endpoint Protection, Endpoint Protection Cloud, IT Management Suite, Email Security.Cloud, Data Center Security and Cloud Workload Protection products. Under the information protection category, it offers Data Loss Prevention, Encryption, Managed PKI, Service, VIP Access Manager, and Data Loss Prevention and CloudSOC products. The Company also offers consulting services, customer success services, cyber security services and education services. Its cyber security services include DeepSight Intelligence software, which provides an analysis of attacks. The Company offers the Blue Coat Security Platform, which provides Web security solutions for global enterprises and governments.

Zendesk Company Profile

Zendesk, Inc. (Zendesk) is a software development company. The Zendesk family of products is built to work together to help organizations understand and manage customer relationships. All Zendesk products share a common interface and are being developed to support a shared services infrastructure and common customer data platform. Zendesk’s products are developed using agile software techniques, and are designed to incorporate and innovate on customer feedback obtained through beta and Early Access Programs (EAPs). Its family of products includes Zendesk Support, Zendesk Chat, Zendesk Talk, Zendesk Help Center, Zendesk Message, Zendesk Explore and Zendesk Connect. Zendesk’s developer platform allows organizations to extend the functionality of its family of products and customize the experience for their employees and customers. Key components of Zendesk’s developer platform include Zendesk Embeddables, Zendesk application program interfaces (APIs) and Zendesk Applications.

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