IDC just released some ominous revised PC forecasts. Worldwide PC shipments will see their most precipitous decline ever this year, with even more bad news to come in 2014. PC shipments, which just months ago were expected to fall 9.7 percent, instead will now drop 10.1 percent this year, representing "by far the most severe yearly contraction on record," according to research firm International Data Corp. And IDC expects global PC sales to fall an additional 3.8 percent in 2014.
The vast majority of Symantec's products not only depend on PC's to execute, but are also based around protecting PC's, so the impacts of the PC-market decline are going to be felt from both a platform and service aspect.
Enterprise storage aside, there are no meaningful, significant revenue growth areas for Symantec. It has already lost the battle in cloud and mobile and their current legacy segments are eroding - and projected even by the company itself to erode. This is the whole reason behind the sad attempt at salvaging this titanic under the guise of a 4.0 strategy. How stupid do investors need to be not realize that if a company needs FOUR tries to get something right then the core decision must have been wrong from the onset. There is no fixing this company, it is broken and now so disrupted that only a fool would go long on these shares, especially in this market.
Even the enterprise storage space is going to take a massive hit in the not too distant future, and will continue to erode - just like what has happened to PC sales. The cloud is going to snuff out the need for most of Symantec's traditional offerings and the company will be forced to become a solutions-provider for a handful of major cloud-provider companies. Which means massive competition, stiff pricing pressure and high-risk deals. The very same situation the company was trying to get away from.
Amazing how utterly clueless the average investor is, especially some big institutions stupid enough to fall for the baloney being fed and hyped and manipulated. Eventually the music is going to stop and that time is already starting to surface, all the cracks in this same old titanic are beginning to show.
Myself and a few others warned about this. Comments from the UBS analyst conference:
Stephen Bennett - President and Chief Executive Officer:
"What we said in the beginning is that we're solving for '15 to '17 period greater than 5% CAGR for that three year period [two years from now]. And we said greater than 30% operating margins and our goal was to get there in two years [also]. I don't think we'll get there in two years now. I'd have to cut back too much and invest in growth to get there."
This is just the beginning of what is to come, fools go long here. For the short term and mid term, the shares at these levels, especially in this market, are becoming a good short opportunity.
Yes. If I had to bet just look at the volume the last few weeks, entirely orchestrated, now it has finished. CEO sees the miss ahead, schedules to buy shares after earnings announcement (and collapse) and then schedules buy-backs to falsely pump the shares back up. Not to mention the likely editorial add quid-pro-quo pumping. The buy back won't sustain this recent bounce, and will only end up diluted and looted by the insiders showering stock awards all over themselves. Meanwhile some investors are foolish enough to go long at these levels.
This is about as obvious as it gets....
SoftwarePlayer is absolutely correct, except maybe a bit overdone on the price range of 10-12 IMO. Rather I see a $18-$19 dollar stock, but that is based on THIS present market of Fed printing. When the market bubble re-adjusts, expect to see Symantec in the mid teens again. The risk of looking out a few years foolishly believing the market can hold up AND Symantec can deliver on all the hype is way, way too high. That is truly a fool's gamble.
Some other posters called it right when they predicted this is basically the same broken company in new dressing (or something to that effect). Only now, in my opinion they have assumed a whole new level of risk with all the disruption and chaos trying to spin the "Symantec 4.0" smoke screen.
WHY would any sane investor elect to get on this Titanic under the present company and market circumstances??
ANOTHER bad sign. When the head of a major division like Francis departs this is just more indication of a flailing execution and internal turmoil.
Anybody buying shares in this company deserves everything they get, this situation at Symantec is every bit as dysfunctional and broken as it ever was. And now all the low-hanging fruit "price-manipulation stunts" have been played out, there is nothing left to prop up the shares to counteract the hard, negative reality of what lies ahead. I can assure you that Steve Bennett is only recently truly beginning to understand the magnitude and complexity (and issues) that lies ahead. The people below him have been pulling out all the stops to save their jobs and so the "view" from above was NOT matching reality.
Hold shares at your own risk if already invested with at least a few points spread, but buying here is just absolute insanity.
Buyback definitely falsely propping shares, just like when it was being held up around 24-25 range a month or so ago right before it crumbled. Same thing will happen again, entirely predictable.
The reason the shares have experienced a bit of a bounce the last few days was primarily due to the company attempting to prop up the shares after falling off a cliff recently, combined with the CEO conveniently buying and "advertising" at an investor conference that he bought some shares recently. His cost basis is still around $19 per share of the total shares purchased outright, so this recent action is basically a symbolic gesture designed to trick dumb money into helping prop up the shares.
Don't be a foolish investor. Make sure you understand the litany of risks & problems facing Symantec before entering the shares at the current prices. Be aware it will likely be a bumpy ride and many years before any growth MIGHT return. Ask yourself, do you want to be holding an over priced, risky, uncertain tech company through the next few years in light of the current over-extended stock market levels that are being held up by Fed printing money, and in the current anemic economic environment?
Well said, about time others on this board who know the real truth are speaking out.
Looks like the company is trying to hold up the shares with buybacks the last few days, but that is only going to make things worse when investors wake up to what was just posted in the filings. Same game where the insiders and management re-working the compensation system to stuff their own pockets, so any buyback activity is a temporary false positive on a supply-demand imbalance. I also expect there to be some near term marketing attempts by management continuing to pound the drum on the Symantec 4.0 strategy at conferences along with some smoke-n-mirror press releases.
Best case the stock makes a small rebound (already has begun) and then it will be another leg back down. When the final shoe drops, or when the market adjusts, this is not a stock you want to be holding.
Action of recent days has all indicators of a company who is desperately buying back shares trying to prop up the shares and preserve the technicals. When the stock eventually breaks, and it will,, the downside is going to be that much more violent. Some short covering as well before new positions are established ahead.
OMINOUS SIGN. The departure of the CFO, and in particularly the timing of it this quarter, is almost surely not a coincidence. It has been very perplexing how Symantec over the last year suddenly managed to start hitting numbers as if almost by some form of financial immaculate conception. And there are other continued upper-management "departures" to pay attention to as well.
I suspect the curtain is about to be pulled back to unveil the Wizard of Oz who has been pulling levers.
Shareholders better watch out, this could result in quite a haircut on the shares, back down to a more reasonable valuation. Especially when earnings are released. It wouldn't surprise me to see a pre-warning in a week or two.
The notion of Symantec being acquired is laughable. It would take $20-$25 billion and nobody would pay that much for a broken, sinking ship that is desperately trying to repair itself. For example, Microsoft's largest acquisition ever was the $8 billion deal for Skype. So again, forget anybody buying Symantec, not even a break-up at this point is realistic. Had the stock still been under the incompetent reign of JT or Salem, and the stock still been in the mid-teens, then yes there may have been a chance, but no longer, not any realistic possibility whatsoever.
The parallels are ominous and many, Symantec's story has been similar to BlackBerry and is going to soon culminate in a similar fate.
Turnaround my eye. Look at Symantec's market place, look what's happening with retail/PC and economy. Look at how enterprise business is headed rapidly toward the cloud (which is going to crush Symantec's margins) Look competition increasing while market share erosion is accelerating . And yet still no revenue-generating mobile story either.
Hype, smoke and mirrors, just like the alleged turnaround with BlackBerry - and we can all see how that ended as of Friday's news, with more trouble yet to come. Symantec is, and has been, riding a very eerie parallel similar to BlackBerry, once an industry leader which became complacent and mismanaged who was overcome by competition and changes in the the market place - and then tried to fool shareholders into a turnaround story.
Don't end up a fool like a BlackBerry investor.