Symantec announced plans to split itself into two publicly traded companies as it explores new strategies to spur growth, sending shares higher in after-hours trading. The Mountain View, California-based cyber security and storage provider said one firm will focus on cyber security and the other will concentrate on information management. It expects to complete the spinoff by December of next year. “Separating Symantec into two independent, publicly traded companies will provide each business the flexibility and focus to drive growth and enhance shareholder value,” CEO Michael Brown said. “Taking this decisive step will enable each business to maximize its potential. Both businesses will have substantial operational and financial scale to thrive.” Symantec, which is most known for its Norton anti-virus service, abruptly fired its former CEO Steve Bennett in March amid stifling growth and slumping PC sales.