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Monday 14 May 2018

Symantec FY clouded by investigation

Symantec FY clouded by investigation concernsWith Symantec’s FY18 results overshadowed by news of an internal investigation being conducted by its audit committee, the company will want to clear things up quickly to minimise the fallout from investors, business partners and customers.

The inquiry was prompted in connection with concerns raised by a former employee. Symantec said it may miss the deadline to file its annual 10-K report to the US Security and Exchange Commission (which has been notified of the situation) and have to restate some financial results and its Q1/FY guidance, but declined to discuss the matter further during its earnings presentation.

Investors reacted badly to the news late Thursday, with Symantec’s stock value falling by a third (wiping around US$6bn of the cyber security supplier’s market value according to some estimates).

Putting uncertainty aside the results (if correct) indicate FY18 was a good year for Symantec. Reported GAAP revenue was up 21% yoy to US$4.8bn and net income hit the dizzying heights of US$1.2bn compared to a US$106m net loss in FY17 when acquisition and restructuring costs took their toll.

Symantec appears keen to follow the right course of action but the probe will take time and we find it hard to pass informed comment on FY18 results until we can be sure of their accuracy.

What happens next will have a significant impact on Symantec’s business and reputation. Other companies (such as BT and Redcentric) have emerged heavily bruised but not irrevocably battered after going public about financial irregularities, with executive casualties and restructuring the order of the day.

Whatever the findings of its own investigation, Symantec must lay itself bare to scrutiny to maintain trust in its management and strategy.

Posted by Martin Courtney at '08:56' - Tagged: results   cybersecurity   investigation   Symantec   audit  

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