Symantec ($SYMC) is scaling down and jettisoning a big part of its business, dealing off its enterprise security business to Broadcom ($AVGO) in a $10.7 billion deal. Again, it was signaled in the alternative data

It comes after a failed attempt by Broadcom to buy the Silicon Valley-based tech firm out entirely, according to past reports. It also comes as Symantec shares have lagged major market benchmarks for the trailing 12 months, and year-to-date. 

In the tech sector - as is the case in healthcare-pharma, or other industries - it is common to see major M&A between Fortune 100 companies tipped off in alternative data via changes in job listings posted at companies' recruiting websites over time. And, this was the case on Symantec-Broadcom.

Job postings plunged to an all-time low (at least, as tracked by several years' worth of our data) in the second quarter at Symantec, falling nearly 60% in the months leading up to the deal, which was announced August 8.

And, often, that is how long it takes to seal the deal - sometimes it takes far longer, which our next chart highlights. 

Before Fiserv ($FISV) agreed in the beginning of the year to acquireFirst Data ($FDC) or $22 billion deal, it began cutting job postings. And, because we can contrast alternative data for each, it is evident that talks likely began in July of the previous year - because both companies made steep cuts to their job postings, likely in anticipation of some post M&A redundancies.  

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading:

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