Symantec Reveals Little on Call to Discuss Investigation

Symantec Corp. shares jumped Monday as investors anticipated an afternoon call with senior management to shed more light on an internal investigation disclosed last week. But if analysts were looking for answers, they didn’t really get much.

The world’s biggest maker of cyber-security software added only these new details: the probe focuses on allegations made by a former employee concerning Symantec’s public comments about historical financial results; and the company’s reporting on certain issues including executive compensation, stock plans and "retaliation."

"The investigation is in its early stages and the company cannot predict the duration or outcome of the investigation," Symantec said in a statement. "At this time, the company does not anticipate a material adverse impact on its historical financial statements."

Originally Symantec had said the investigation will delay the filing of its annual report and could potentially lead to a restatement of earnings. The board has retained outside counsel to advise it and alerted the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The revelation, tucked into the quarterly results, ignited a firestorm Thursday when executives refused to take questions about it in the post-earnings conference call. That left analysts expecting the worst, triggering a 33 percent drop in the stock price Friday. The shares rallied Monday on news of the conference call, gaining 9.6 percent to close at $21.40 in New York. However, the company started its call by saying it wouldn’t take questions about the investigation beyond that limited public statement. Executives instead answered general questions about the business.

The shares rose 2.5 percent in extended trading