"$350M for four companies with barely $20M in revenue and no long term revenue history is not cheap. Riptec was the company with the most revenue and they are a low margin services company."
It's called synergy (though I bite my tongue when using this piece of buzzwordage). Many of these companies did not have an entire portfolio of security services or partnerships with other firms. Nor did they have the size of marketing and sales organizations that would allow them to increase their revenue quickly. They have that now. I suppose you would have had JT wait until it would have taken all of SYMC's cash to buy them?
Will it work out? I believe so. The strategy of providing a one-stop security solution for all sizes of customers appears to be working out quite nicely. These acquisitions are strategic in nature at this point, but I expect people will start seeing how well they work out tactically as well in the next few months. I expect to see them add to SYMC's bottom line faster than AXNT did.
All-in-all, I expect that these purchases will ultimately be recognized as another of JT's masterful strategic moves.