Symantec is facing a brutal day on Wall Street after disclosing Thursday that its board is investigating concerns raised by an ex-employee. The cybersecurity firm didn't reveal the nature of the employee's concerns, and the uncertainly sent its stock plunging more than 30 percent on Friday.
Symantec did say that the investigation would likely delay the release of its annual report, and that its board has assembled an audit committee and retained independent counsel to deal with the matter. Symantec has also reported the investigation to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
"The investigation is in its early stages and the Company cannot predict the duration or outcome of the investigation," Symantec wrote in its Q4 financial release. "The Company's financial results and guidance may be subject to change based on the outcome of the Audit Committee investigation."
Symantec now faces a class action lawsuit brought by Rosen Law Firm on behalf of Symantec shareholders. The suit will seek to recover losses suffered by Symantec investors after Thursday's disclosure, according to a press release.
On a positive note, Symantec's Q4 results satisfied market estimates. The company reported revenue of $1.2 billion, an increase of 10 percent year-over-year. Non-GAAP earnings were 46 cents a share. The company's net loss narrowed to $35 million, or 6 cents a share.
However, sales from Symantec's enterprise security unit, a key revenue generator for the Mountain View, California-based company, declined seven percent in Q4.
CEO Greg Clark thinks that online information protection will be even more important in the years to come.
Organisations soon won't be able to purchase office equipment that isn't internet connected, according to Symantec CTO Nick Savvides, and as a result will have to establish security policies in preparation.
With Australians to soon transfer money in near real-time, banks will need to up their fraud detection capabilities, but Symantec's local CTO has said biometrics isn't the way to do that.