What Caused Symantec Stock to Fall 7% in Late April?


May. 6 2016, Updated 12:07 p.m. ET

CEO and reduction in guidance weighed heavily on Symantec stock

So far in this series, we’ve looked at Symantec’s (SYMC) recent announcement that CEO (chief executive officer) Michael Brown is stepping down. This weakened the sentiment around Symantec stock, as this kind of news is always met with a bit of skepticism. Uncertainty over the company’s CEO may have sent a negative signal about the company’s future and growth prospects.

Enrique Salem joined as CEO of Symantec in 2009 but left in 2012. Steve Bennett then took over. However, after just 20 months, he left in March 2014. Then Michael Brown was appointed, but now he is stepping down.

Symantec is also slashing its fiscal 4Q16 guidance, which contributed negatively to Market sentiment for the stock. These announcements made on April 28, 2016, led Symantec stock to fall ~7% to $16.89.

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SYMC stock movement in February 2016 was positive. Symantec’s fiscal 3Q16 results beat analysts’ expectations despite a strong dollar (UUP). Silver Lake’s $500 million investment in the company also boosted the stock. In late March 2016, Symantec stock rose to $18.85, a 52-week high. However, since then, the stock has fallen ~11.6%.

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Factors impacting Symantec’s growth

Rising competition in the cybersecurity space, the flailing PC (personal computer) market, and continuing consolidation have made it difficult for Symantec to report revenue growth. Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows 10 launch and Intel’s (INTC) Skylake CPU (central processing unit) platform were expected to revive demand in the declining PC market. However, if we look at the recent PC shipment figures, improvement is yet to be seen.

Although Symantec leads the DLP (data loss prevention) and endpoint protection space, relatively new companies such as FireEye (FEYE) and Palo Alto Networks (PANW) are growing quickly. PANW recently entered the endpoint protection space.


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