Shares of cybersecurity software specialist Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) trailed the market over the first half of the year, shedding 26% compared to a 2% uptick in the S&P 500, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.
The stock had been tracking the market closely until major financial news sent shares lower in May.
Symantec announced solid fourth-quarter results on May 10, with sales up 10% and operating margin jumping nearly 10 percentage points to 36.5% of sales. However, investors were far more interested in news that challenged the reliability of its recent financial results.
Executives said they have started an internal audit in connection with "concerns raised by a former employee," management explained, and Symantec's "financial results and guidance may be subject to change based on the outcome" of the investigation.
The audit caused a delay in the preparation of Symantec's annual report, which has yet to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The cybersecurity giant plans to announce results for its fiscal first quarter after the market closes on Aug. 2, but the stock isn't likely to recover until the cloud of this financial audit is lifted.