WR Hambrecht Cuts Symantec to Hold

The company recently announced a tempered outlook for 2006

WR Hambrecht cut its investment recommendation on Symantec(SYMC ) to hold, citing the company's recently announced quarterly results.

Analyst Bob Stimson says that Symantec's non-GAAP earnings per share of 23 cents beat his 22 cents estimate, and consensus of 20 cents, but management provided a tempered fiscal year 2006 outlook, cutting revenue guidance to $5 billion from $5.13 billion and citing weakness in the consumer and enterprise AV segment. He believes guidance shows weakening fundamentals, lingering issues with competition, pricing pressure, and a potential slowdown in market demand trends. He cut his fiscal year 2006 (ending March) earnings per share estimate to 99 cents from $1.02, on $5.01 billion revenue down from $5.12 billion. His fiscal year 2007 earnings per share estimate moves to $1.14 from $1.17, on $5.57 billion revenue down from $5.67 billion. He reduced his stock price target to $23 from $25.

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