The latest editorial from the King-Hyper-Editorial is now trying to cite "Social Activity" as the latest highlight on Symantec. What an utterly pathetic, desperate attempt and trying to hype the shares back up. Must be all that add revenue that Symantec probably bought is in jeopardy without the quid-pro-quo hyping. Only this time there's no realistic basis on which to hype since the curtain has been pulled back on the Wizard.
Seriously, at this point anybody buying these shares is truly a fool. Better to take part of the money and go have a fun week in Vegas and gamble.
You must truly be new. Both Google and Facebook are excellent suitors for parts of Symantec, but that will no longer happen now, that boat has sailed. The company decided to force forward with the same broken Storage & Security ploy, and has now altered strategy and made all kinds of internal disruption. Nobody will touch this company now. Not unless it goes back to the $12-$15 range again after a fourth turnaround attempt would there be anybody remotely interested in making a bid.
You can't go back in time and make comparisons without taking the broader market into consideration. Otherwise it's apples and oranges. If you compare the ratio back to the timeframe you refer to, and then project it out to today after a massive run-up (especially on the Nasdaq) the prices I cited are indeed within range, entirely.
You basically just added proof and credibility to my previous statements, thank you.
I was out about half a $22, took more later, and still holding some, but will likely be out entirely soon. This is a dead company for along while to come. On the very remote chance this Titanic is ever patched and back on SOME course that makes sense it will be many years out. Meanwhile there is far better investments with much less risk.
Also, did you read the earnings transcript? Did you see the many points in there I predicted previously? Like revenue being pulled into previous quarters, etc? This stock has been entirely manipulated from the day the new CEO took over, I won't even bother to educate people about all the details of how the game works and what transpired, it's not worth the effort frankly when the writing is now out on the wall for everybody to see and still there are fools refusing to see it.
Yet another untruth. Go back to the 3rd grade, nothing you've ever said had any substance or logic whatsoever. Try a social networking board, you'll be more at home there spreading rumors and falsehoods.
Where did you learn that phrase, the 3rd grade? Again, I have given repeated factual or reasoned insight into what was really going on, the true state of the company, and what lay ahead. Hopefully most people stayed protected on the way up, but as it became blatant the hype and price were entirely disconnected from reality I started firmly sounding warning bells and you can now see it was entirely justified.
Go read the earnings statement and listen to the conference call. It is ominous. Desperately trying to keep the spin going but the facts remain the same - revenue, growth and share all remain in serious jeopardy and you can expect this to worsen or remain flat over the short and mid term. Even long term is nothing but a Vegas gamble, and not a good one.
The shares have been grossly overpriced all year. The game is over, the curtain has been pulled back and investors can now see it is just a similar old Wizard using a new bag of trickery. Sure some positives like cutting back on the bloated management overhead was good, but it was an obvious, basic improvement that should have been made 5 years ago.
This company's good days are well behind it. It is without question a broken Titanic where the deck hands are trying to bail water as fast as it is taking new water on. Any hope for improvement is long term (and I mean LONG term) and odds are clearly stacked against the likelihood of success.
NOBODY can say I did not warn of this, most everything I tried repeatedly to warn about is now coming back to roost. They managed to plan the con game longer than I anticipated, there was a lot of big money, hedge funds, and editorial hyping all converging than was anticipated. Sprinkled with a lack of understanding of what the CEO really inherited, which he is now starting to learn the truth about.
Measure the stock price against RECORD MARKET LEVELS and you can now appreciate how ridiculously overpriced the shares have been.
The company is getting eaten on all sides - PC, Cloud, Mobile, Ant-Virus, etc. They are now having to resort to a theme of "Nobody can do it all alone" which is a major divergence from the "We are a world-leading major Independent Software Vendor". They are not admitting in order to survive they have to PARTNER and collaborate with partners & competitors in hopes of providing solutions. This is going to make for a completely unpredictable, unprojectable, tighter-margin, lower-quality and more competitive attempt at survival.
GET OFF THIS BOAT NOW, the easy money has been made, this is no longer an investment (short or longer term) it is a GAMBLE at best.
Check the headlines, IBM increasingly ramping and broadening into the security space. Symantec has nowhere to go at this point, it cannot survive as a software pure-play, nor survive in the PC space, it is slowly being boxed into a corner. This is what prompted Bennett's plan at turning the company into a customer-focused solution-provider. There is no other viable cover story to spin. Problem is, by the time that comes to fruition, if it ever happens, the competition and cloud space is going to have snipped Symantec in both the security and data markets.
The game is still on, if you've had luck riding the shares, best of continued luck to you, just realize at some point the music is going to stop. Keep well protected on the downside. Just as the shares were undervalued and over-hated for the last 8 years, it is now overvalued and hyped today. Neither extreme is justified.
One additional area I missed listening to the call, which showed up in the transcript just now....
If I read the transcript correctly, the majority of the "reductions/layoffs" have been entirely misleading to investors. First, of all, nowhere near the ratio of managers were laid off as originally portrayed. The company is still out of balance, improved, but still out of balance by a non-trivial amount. MORE IMPORTANTLY however, is the accounting aspects. The hundreds of $millions of severance charges have largely not even been taken yet! Even worse, it appears the vast majority of all the alleged "savings" are not going to the investor's bottom line, they are being reinvested for long term purposes, little of it will be taken in a way that directly benefits investors, and not any time soon. ENTIRELY MISLEADING REDUCTION PLAN, and one that was a huge factor in hyping and pumping up the share price.
Final comments on the call...
The CEO said that while he was pleased the company beat the previously lowered EPS guidance for the current quarter, there is a lot of work to do and risk ahead. Specifically he said:
- It will be 12-24 months before even the 5/30 goal is even met, leaning toward the latter time frame.
Do the math on this, the stock is already in the price range at or above this future goal!
- Stressed there is a lot uncertainty ahead and there might be short term pains to achieve the longer term 5/30 goal.
- The CEO finished by saying emphatically to the analysts on the call to please not get ahead of things. I believe he inferred concern that things may already have gotten a bit ahead but will need to go back and look at the transcript. What he is saying to the analysts is, stop with the hyping, your expectations are getting too aggressive for the pronounced plan, and we aren't even there yet, there are also many risks and moving parts entering the picture going forward.
The takeaway to all this is that it is nice the EPS didn't come up shorter than lowered guidance, but again, it is still FLAT. NO GROWTH. Revenues down. And the guidance is worse yet. Now you have uncertainty and risk facing a maximum inflated share price.
Take the comments for what you will, but at least be clear on the situation you are investing in. Understand the difference between analyst hype and manipulation, actual financial execution, market competition and technical analysis. Not to mention the broader market's elevated levels. All will have an impact on share price.
Call comments (still under way):
- Profits down, EPS flat and lowering guidance for next quarter. Also still concerned over currency headwinds, in particular the Yen.
- Severance payments to impact cash flow YoY (hundreds of $ millions)
- Dividend to remain same percentage.
- Buybacks remain on plan but share count to remain flat for the year. Translation: They are buying back shares but turning around and using them for other purposes like executive compensation or acquisitions.
- Affirmed risk is increasing given many changes to company are starting to take effect.
- CEO: "We are still at the one mile mark in a marathon."
- CEO: "THERE ARE NO SILVER BULLETS, NO BIG CATALYSTS"
Look like a small relief rally and some typical short covering after hours. I would expect the usual hyping tomorrow from the vested analysts, but it will be interesting to see if any of this sticks because neither this quarter nor the outlook and risk over the next few quarters is anything to celebrate over.
More comments as they call unfolds....
Further key comment from Steve Bennett: "The magnitude of change we are undertaking is substantial and so as we move increasingly into the implementation phase of our transformation, we remain cautious on our outlook for the coming quarter."
Listening to the call right now to see how they derived the numbers and other comments.....
Creative accounting gimmickes are are only required when a company is unable to execute on the level and has become desperate, enough said. Symantec is going to be pure smoke and mirrors here forward because nothing else is propping up the share price other than false (and often paid-for) hype and a bloated market. And another point to pay attention to is the company has now changed the breakdown of reporting classifications. This too is another shell game, they are doing everything possible to not be held accountable and avoid past performance comparisons by making it oranges to apples now.
To my point once again, more proof is in the recent announcement of FIVE more Executives just have been hired. The company is already in the midst of an entirely faux management headcount reduction that is getting it nowhere near the ratio it needs to be, and that it proclaimed to be headed toward, yet already here we go again with many millions per year being blown on new executive staff. And rest assured, that will quickly translate into more empire building and management being hired. Nearly a quater BILLION dollars being blown on severance and reduction charges all so they can start all over again. And foolish investors are falling for it. A much smaller amount, look at the volume, but still fools are falling for it. Sooner or later, as the old saying goes, they will eventually be parted with their money.
Today an 8K was filed that is going to create the perception of making past quarters, YoY and most notably current and near-term quarters falsely appear better than they are. A change in the way commissions (costs) are accounted on the book relative to revenue. Probably desperation and entirely predictable as I've said for a while this alleged "turnaround" is blown WAY out of proportion to reality and FAR from being anything real yet, still pure HYPE.
Furthermore, right in line with what I had been saying last year, Symantec is now in deep trouble that is only going to get worse regarding competition and market share. There is now officially a sector consolidation under way were players like IBM, Cisco, and others are change the security space to be a solutions-provider game. One which Symantec can not possibly compete against, especially in light of the erosion of share with declining PC's, no real mobile strategy or cloud strategy. Symantec has no choice but start acquiring again, meaning more dilution and internal chaos, beyond what is already happening (due to the faux headcount reductions and reorganizing)
GAME OVER FOLKS. Take your profits at every chance because this company is in dire trouble. The more filings, games and hype that surfaces are merely indicators of a desperate ship sinking. The best case scenario is Symantec can bail fast enough to become another Microsoft that languishes going nowhere, and even then the broader market will have to hold up to sustain current over-priced shares.
It is becoming increasingly apparent the Cloud is going to hurt certain legacy technology companies, and this realization may come too late to save some investors. Large-cap companies that are still heavily reliant on their legacy products and business models are most at risk, especially those with low growth rates. Symantec is such a company. One who will likely suffer from the cloud. The fact is, the cloud is going to result in a severe consolidation on many levels within the industry. For Symantec, the amount of subscriptions/licenses will end up reduced due to server and storage optimizations intrinsic to the cloud. And the number of customers will be radically reduced since a good portion of the consumer and SMB market will be consolidated into the cloud, thereby creating small handfuls of super-customer cloud-providers. These super-customers will become critical to some large-cap software providers, such as Symantec, to the extent that loosing just one super-customer could impact the overall bottom line. Not to mention the pricing-pressure that such super-customers will inflict. Symantec simply has no viable way to avert this reality and no meaningful cloud solution on an overall revenue-ratio basis either. Instead using hype and marketing more than anything revenue-ratio significant. Meanwhile, there are hoards of companies already ahead of the cloud-curve and which Symantec will be fighting just to grasp at small pieces of the pie, which again will be entirely insignificant against the size of its legacy core businesses which it is critically dependent upon. Symantec is already well on its way to being squeezed out and has already mortally wounded itself from any meaningful participation in the cloud and mobile market after the misguided reign of previous CEO's.
For Symantec the cloud situation is simply too little too late and with too much competition. The cloud is truly going to rain on companies like Symantec.
I am apparently becoming the entertainment on this forum, but slowly more and more people such as yourselves are starting to see what I've been saying for the better part of almost six months now. Symantec 4.0 is just another shell game. With a few obvious decisions that should have been made long ago like a small dividend. Otherwise, exact same pig just with different lipstick. Much of the same is going to continue as happened in the past. There is just simply too much cancer inside Symantec at this point. Steve Bennett, for any of his good intentions, simply does not yet see or understand the full impacts of what he has actually inherited. Many of the bloated screw-ups in management have been hammering their employees and pulling out all the stops & deals to make numbers. This is unsustainable and frankly I'm surprised they made it another quarter. In fact, they probably did NOT make it, which is why they deferred the planned layoff wave into the current quarter so the two final waves happen closer together or simultaneously.
Make no mistake, the shares are way ahead of the themselves, the company now has huge risk and disruption ahead, and when reality catches up with the shares there is going to be a sizable adjustment.
The run-up since January has been largely an orchestrated, hype-fueled rally driven by insiders, hedge funds and a few large institutional holders with sell-side analysts.
Now the hard part for Symantec begins. The company has to actually maintain execution while it begins the internally-disruptive turnaround effort, with hopes to eventually achieve enough growth to offset market share erosion.
The company has a long, difficult road ahead with risk and uncertainty as to outcome. Current or prospective investors should do some serious homework going back at least a few years. And ignore the false pumping and hyping trying to prop up the shares and lure in investors. The share price is absolutely over-valued, the P/E is clearly too high relative to growth prospects, with buy-backs attributing.
IBM just missed all around, this is NOT a good for-telling for Symantec. Everything across the board was weak with rare exceptions. From revenue to profit to margin to services all ran into various issues, and the macro economy was cited in many instances, just as I have been warning. Corporate spending began slowing especially on the big deals.
I'd recommend taking time to read a few articles on the IBM results, there's much information that is relevant to Symantec's business.
Symantec shares face further decline ahead in the near and mid term, so stay protected or take profits, better entry points ahead for anyone eye-balling the shares over the long haul. Not to mention a market correction and seasonal headwinds for the tech sector and a macro economy that is flat to eroding on a global scale. The growth areas of emerging markets are now especially showing new signs of weakness.
Danger lingering for technology shareholders. Quarterly PC shipments were just reported as lowest ever and Fortinet cybersecurity firm just reported and missed on both top and bottom lines - attributed to weakness in government contracts, service providers and the macro economy. Symantec is not immune and will be effected as well. Also will be negatively impacted by the ongoing strength in the dollar.
Further it should be noted that while there is no absolute guarantee, it is extremely evident what has likely transpired over recent weeks was attributed largely, if not almost entirely, to Symantec influencing it's own share price through buy-backs. And very possibly buying ad revenue to entice some online editorials to quid-pro-quo with all the false hyping. Who benefits internally? The CEO and other's who's compensation is tied to the share price. Look up the formal filings for details on the many millions of compensation on the line. Notice how the volume suddenly evaporated at the end of March? This is when the quarter ended and is where the cut-off measurement points are.
Everything from $22 has been a faux rally and the stock price will reset itself accordingly, not even taking into consideration the impacts of the market correction when it transpires.
Investors need to do the homework, the risk reward is way out of balance at this point, better entry points ahead. And if already long consider taking profits or stay well protected.
First Oracle reports and misses, then Red Hat misses fell short as well. Both companies incurred a sizable reset on their share prices from weeks prior. Next up will be Symantec. The Euro is also continuing to weaken, helped along by ongoing economic weakness and debt issues across the Euro zone, which will have an even more profound effect on Symantec's financials going forward. The company is squeezing all the "inefficiency" out and received more than a justified premium on that premise. Disruption will not ensure within as company-wide reorganizations will make for serious execution challenges. And growth is projected to be at, or near, zero for more than the next year.
Bottom line: The already over-blown rally in the shares is over. The downside risk in the sector and the overall pending market correction no longer makes for a balanced risk vs. reward situation.
Stay protected, take profits or await better opportunity.