Symantec loses a third of its value after news of internal audit, on pace for worst day in 17 years


Symantec shed a third of its value Friday, on pace for the stock’s worst day in 17 years.

Shares fell roughly 35 percent Friday to a low of $18.85 — levels not seen since June 2016.

The cybersecurity company said Thursday it had launched an internal audit in response to concerns from a former employee, according a press release issued Thursday.

The company did not elaborate on what concerns were being reviewed, saying only that the investigation was not security-related.

A source familiar with the matter told Reuters it was separate from another investigation launched in November into the possible violations of federal securities laws in relation to its executive compensation awards.

“The investigation is in its early stages and the Company cannot predict the duration or outcome of the investigation,” Symantec said in the release.

At least eight third-party investor groups have launched investigations into Symantec and at least nine Wall Street analysts have lowered their price targets for the stock in the hours following the company’s announcement.

Symantec executives declined to take questions from analysts during the company’s earnings call. The firm beat Wall Street estimates when it reported fourth quarter and full-year results Thursday.

“The fog created by an internal investigation of the company led by the audit committee of the board, with no semblance of detail provided to investors, overshadows everything else in Thursday’s Q4 and FY 2018 earnings,” analysts for BTIG wrote in a note.

Friday’s plunge slashed more than $6 billion off the company’s market value, according to FactSet estimates of shares outstanding.

The stock is now down roughly 37 percent in the 12-month period and is more than 40 percent off its 52-week high.

—CNBC’s Ari Levy and Reuters contributed to this report.


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