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Why Symantec Corporation Shares Sank Today

By Steve Symington – Mar 21, 2014 at 3:17PM

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Is Symantec's plunge meaningful? Or just another movement?

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Symantec Corporation (GEN 0.31%) slumped nearly 13% Friday after the company announced the termination of CEO Steve Bennett.

So what: Bennett will be temporarily replaced by board member Michael Brown as Symantec searches for a permanent CEO. The move also follows yet another painful quarter in which Symantec saw revenue fall 5% year over year amid sluggish PC sales and a drastic sales force restructuring. Bennett insisted at the time, "While we won't be happy until total business activity is growing again, I'm happy with our financial results given the massive changes in our business."

Bennett served in his post for roughly a year-and-a-half after replacing Symantec's then-CEO of three years, Enrique Salem.

Now what: Though board chairman Daniel Schulman recognized Bennett's actions as "establishing a solid foundation for Symantec's future," he stated, "Our priority is now to identify a leader who can leverage our company's assets and leadership team to drive the next stage of Symantec's product innovation and growth."

So what's an investor to do? Even with shares down 23% year to date, I'm sticking by my previous stance of patiently watching from the sidelines. Symantec shares may look cheap trading below 10 times next year's expected earnings, but I have little interest diving into the stock of a faltering business until we receive more clarity on its future direction.

Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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