Why Symantec Got Crushed

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of security-software specialist Symantec (NAS: SYMC) got crushed today, down by as much as 12%, after the company released preliminary estimates of fourth-quarter earnings.

So what: Revenue should be about $1.68 billion, lower than the company's own guidance of around $1.72 billion, which is also roughly what the Street was expecting. Adjusted earnings per share should land at $0.38, also lower than hoped.

Now what: CEO Enrique Salem said a larger than expected portion of enterprise subscription contracts resulted in higher deferred revenue. In addition, license performance was soft because of fewer storage and server management deals. Symantec is set to report its official results on May 2, but don't expect them to be much different.

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At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributorEvan Niuholds no position in any company mentioned. Check out hisholdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days.

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