Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 70% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage.

Can Avast retain its massive gains?

The cybersecurity stock experienced its largest surge in over a year, after it confirmed rumours of a potential merger with NortonLifeLock.

  • Avast PLC (LON: AVST) share price soared nearly 18% on Thursday (15 July 2021)
  • The cybersecurity software firm confirmed a day earlier that it is in ‘advanced’ merger talks with Norton AntiVirus developer, NortonLifeLock
  • The FTSE 100 company could receive a valuation of over US$8 billion
  • Berenberg analysts believe Avast should not settle for anything less than US$10 billion
  • Meanwhile, NortonLifeLock (NASDAQ: NLOK) share price fell over 4% in early trading on Wall Street
  • Interested to trade Avast or NortonLifeLock shares at just a fraction of the cost? Open an account with us today to get started.

AVST share price: what’s the latest?

Avast shares burgeoned over 17%, a day after it confirmed recent media speculation on a potential merger with US-listed NortonLifeLock Inc, the owner of Norton AntiVirus.

The cybersecurity software company’s board said on Wednesday (14 July 2021) that it is in ‘advanced discussions’ regarding the ‘possibility of an offer being made for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Avast’ by Norton.

This may be implemented as a cash and share offer, in accordance with the requirements of the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers, the company added.

‘There can be no certainty as to whether any transaction will take place or the terms on which any possible merger may be agreed,’ it further stated.

According to people familiar with the matter, the FTSE 100 company is also looking at a possible valuation of over US$8 billion, the Wall Street Journal had reported.

Why is Norton keen on buying Avast?

Analysts at Berenberg, however, posited that Avast ‘should not settle for less than US$10 billion’.

‘We are in an age where even real, critical infrastructure is being targeted by cybercriminals, propelling valuations in the cybersecurity industry. Moreover, with private equity and large enterprises attempting to outbid each other, deal premiums have gone up,’ the analysts said in a note.

They believe that Norton is ‘probably after Avast for the company’s large 435 million user base’, adding that Norton could ‘start upselling and cross-selling’ its products on the monetised segments of Avast’s platform.

Although Avast offers a basic antivirus package that is available for free download on its website, more advanced features and products are charged at a premium.

For now, the Avast stock has a consensus rating of ‘buy’ and price target of £528.33, based on the latest data published by MarketBeat. The price target equates to a 12.3% upside potential from the counter’s last traded price of £593.60.

NortonLifeLock shares fall in early trading

Meanwhile, NASDAQ-listed NortonLifeLock fell 4.5% in early trading on Thursday. The company, which has a market capitalisation of US$14.9 billion, was known as Symantec Corp. up until 2019, when its enterprise business was sold to Broadcom Inc.

Nevertheless, the stock’s price target was bumped up to US$32 from US$31 by Barclays following Avast’s announcement.

With all that said, Norton is required by no later than 17:00 GMT+1 on 11 August 2021, to either announce a firm intention to make an offer for Avast in accordance, or announce that it does not intend to make an offer for Avast. This is in accordance with Rule 2.6(a) of the City Code.

This deadline can be extended with the consent of the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers.

Will Avast shares continue climbing? Capitalise on the buying frenzy by trading the stock now

Go short and long with spread bets, CFDs and share dealing on 16,000+ shares with the UK’s No.1 platform.* Learn more about trading shares with us, or open an account to get started today.

* Best trading platform as awarded at the ADVFN International Financial Awards and Professional Trader Awards 2019.

This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.

Act on share opportunities today

Go long or short on thousands of international stocks with spread bets and CFDs.

  • Get full exposure for a comparatively small deposit
  • Trade on spreads from just 0.1%
  • Get greater order book visibility with direct market access

See opportunity on a stock?

Try a risk-free trade in your demo account, and see whether you’re on to something.

  • Log in to your demo
  • Take your position
  • See whether your hunch pays off

See opportunity on a stock?

Don’t miss your chance – upgrade to a live account to take advantage.

  • Trade a huge range of popular stocks
  • Analyse and deal seamlessly on fast, intuitive charts
  • See and react to breaking news in-platform

See opportunity on a stock?

Don’t miss your chance. Log in to take advantage while conditions prevail.

Live prices on most popular markets

  • Forex
  • Shares
  • Indices

Prices above are subject to our website terms and agreements. Prices are indicative only. All shares prices are delayed by at least 15 mins.

Plan your trading week

Get the week’s market-moving news sent directly to your inbox every Sunday. The Week Ahead gives you a full calendar of upcoming economic events, as well as commentary from our expert analysts on the key markets to watch.

For more info on how we might use your data, see our privacy notice and access policy and privacy webpage.

You might be interested in…

Find out what charges your trades could incur with our transparent fee structure.

Discover why so many clients choose us, and what makes us a world-leading provider of spread betting and CFDs.

Stay on top of upcoming market-moving events with our customisable economic calendar.