Symantec Corp. shares slide $1.27

Symantec Corp. shares fell Thursday after the security software company’s fiscal fourth quarter outlook disappointed investors. Symantec shares slid $1.27, or 6.8 percent, to $17.34 in midday trading as the broader market headed lower. In the past year, the stock has traded between $12.54 and $19.16. Symantec said late Wednesday that it posted a profit in its fiscal third quarter ended Jan. 1, compared with a loss in the year-ago quarter when it recorded a hefty impairment charge.

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The company also forecast fiscal fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of 36 cents to 37 cents per share on $1.51 billion to $1.52 billion in revenue. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect adjusted earnings of 37 cents per share on $1.52 billion in revenue. In a client note, Morgan Keegan analyst Brian Freed said he was “pleased” with the December quarter results. He said that while the midpoint of Symantec’s outlook is a bit below analysts’ expectations, he thinks it is related to “changes in currency assumptions rather than a reflection of negative trends in the business model.”

Freed rates the stock “Outperform.”

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