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[ISN] Symantec Shares Decline on Weak Forecast
The Associated Press
November 2, 2005
NEW YORK -- Symantec Corp. stock fell Wednesday, a day after the
software maker cut its financial forecast and announced the surprise
retirement of its chief financial officer.
Shares of Symantec fell $4.63, or 19 percent, to close at $19.37 on
the Nasdaq Stock Market.
The Cupertino, Calif., company, blaming weakness in its consumer and
enterprise security segments, reduced its revenue forecast for fiscal
2006 by $130 million to $5 billion.
"It should be noted that consumer sell-through during the quarter
appears to have slowed as compared with prior Septembers," said Greg
Meyers, retiring chief financial officer, during the company's
conference call Tuesday. "This slowing is most likely a combination of
the late release of our 2006 consumer products in the quarter, a lack
of high profile threat activity and competitive pressures across the
various consumer channels."
Symantec's lowered outlook and Meyers' retirement prompted at least
seven analysts to downgrade their ratings on Symantec's shares.
Susquehanna Financial Group's Gregg Moskowitz, who slashed his rating
on Symantec's shares to "neutral" from "positive," questioned the
timing of Meyers' departure, coming on the heels of Symantec's merger
with Veritas this summer.
Other analysts downplayed Symantec's lowered fiscal 2006 guidance,
saying it was conservative and more appropriate for a maturing
"The stock will likely see near term weakness but we would buy the dip
as we believe fiscal 2006 adjustments are more transitory and could
actually prove conservative while our long term investment thesis
remains intact," said J.P. Morgan analyst Adam Holt.
Moskowitz could not be reached to determine if he owns shares in
Symantec or if Susquehanna Financial has an investment-banking
relationship with the company.
Holt does not own shares in Symantec. J.P. Morgan makes a market in
the securities of Symantec.
Maguire does not own shares in Symantec. Merrill makes a market in the
securities of Symantec.
© 2005 The Associated Press
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