Concerns Mount over Symantec
On paper, Symantec appears to be one of the hottest tech companies around. Propelled in part by users' need to defend against a rash of destructive and well-publicized computer worms like Code Red, Nimda and SirCam, its stock price has jumped 70 percent in the past year. Nonetheless, leading industry experts seem to be far from enamored with the company. Some stock analysts have even responded by placing sell or hold ratings on Symantec, while others question the company's ability to compete successfully in some of its most important markets. Another leading analyst stated that Symantec may have recently squandered nearly a billion dollars on the acquisition of a related company whose technology is a "non-factor" in today's market. In Part I of this investigative report series, NewsFactor goes beyond the headlines to find out what industry insiders really think of Symantec, and why so many are concerned about its future.
Our attention was first drawn to doubts about Symantec when UBS Warburg stock analyst Jordan Klein slapped the company's stock with a "hold" rating in December. He told NewsFactor that although the company's valuation is "not extreme," in order to provide a return on investors' dollars, Symantec would need to keep growing at its current rate, which is highly unlikely.
But Klein is not alone regarding his reservations about Symantec.
Other leading industry experts have confirmed Klein's doubts about the company and have also added their own concerns, joining the growing list of Symantec skeptics. Specifically, analysts question whether Symantec can sustain growth in a consumer antivirus market that has already matured, whether its stock has peaked or is overvalued, whether its sales force is up to snuff, and whether it can compete effectively in the enterprise space. The latter question, which focuses on the lucrative enterprise market, is particularly thorny.
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- Security Database - Company: Symantec (12 May 2002)