REUTERS: Symantec Corp shares lost a third of their value on Friday after the cyber-security firm disclosed its board’s audit committee was investigating “concerns” raised by a former employee and that it might have to restate results.
The stock, down US$9.56 at US$19.62 on Nasdaq, shed roughly US$6 billion in market value, its steepest decline since 2001. At least nine analysts downgraded the stock.
Symantec disclosed the whistleblower probe late on Thursday, saying it might miss a deadline for filing its annual 10-K report, may need to restate some financial results and might revise guidance.
“This may be far from over,” MoffettNathanson LLC analyst Adam Holt said in a note to investors, cutting his recommendation on the stock to “sell.”
Symantec Vice President Cynthia Hiponia told analysts on a call on Thursday that the probe began “in connection with concerns raised by a former employee.” She did not say whether that person had approached Symantec or raised the issue with securities regulators.
She added that the company had voluntarily advised the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it was investigating the matter.