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Symantec scratches head over balance sheet, calls in JPMorgan

Bankers drafted in to stave off activist investor threat - reports

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Reports say Symantec, struggling to reverse a revenue slowdown, has called in JPMorgan Chase & Co. to look at its options and help fend off activist shareholders.

Symantec is a $6.7bn/year revenue company that is struggling to lift its earnings. The last quarterly report made that abundantly clear.

It fired its CEO Steve Bennett, after less than 18 months in the post, because the recovery effort he was leading wasn’t delivering the revenue raising goods.

Symantec_Annual_Revenues

Symantec annual revenues and profits – 2014 revenue number is based on Symantec estimates.

In March we wrote: “[Symantec’s] storage assets – Backup Exec, NetBackup and the Storage Foundation product sets – have been around for a long time, but revenues are down. It has also suffered from a declining PC business which has damaged its desktop security product sales.”

According to Bloomberg, Reuters and others, the board called in the bankers to because it feels Symantec’s share price and its potential value render it attractive to activist investors who could force management changes on the firm and restructure its business.

The share price fell to $18.20, a low point for 52 weeks, after the board fired Bennett. It has now risen to $20.25, which is still lower than at any time in the previous 50 weeks.

A search for a new CEO is underway and a banker’s view of the firm’s situation could inform that search as well as discussions with candidates. ®

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