Shares of Symantec (NASDAQ: SYMC) fell as much as 14.7% on Friday morning, following a muted second-quarter report with a side of disappointing revenue guidance. At 12:45 p.m. EDT the stock was down 10.6%.
In the second quarter, the data security veteran's non-GAAP earnings held steady year over year at $0.33 per share while revenues fell 2% to $1.16 billion. Using a new set of accounting rules that aren't directly comparable with Symantec's year-ago figures, we're looking at adjusted earnings of $0.36 per share on $1.17 billion in top-line sales. Your average analyst was looking for earnings right in line with the $0.33 per share and $1.16 billion figures mentioned above.
Symantec set its third-quarter and full-year guidance targets below the current Wall Street views. Management explained that a newfound focus on long-term contracts has led to more time-consuming deal talks, which is pushing some expected deal closings into future reporting periods.
At least eight analyst firms reacted to this report with lower price targets on Symantec's stock, throwing even more fuel on the market fires. At this point, Symantec shares have plunged 32% over the last 52 weeks and 25% lower in the last three months.
Fellow Fool Leo Sun called Symantec a "broken company" a couple of months ago and this report only underscored that conclusion. This company will need to get its act together before these lower share prices can start to look like a discount on a solid investment.
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