Symantec shares (SYMC) fell nearly 35 percent as of 11:53 a.m. ET on Friday, reaching their lowest point in 17 years.
The decline occurred after Symantec's Audit Committee of the Board of Directors on Thursday night announced it is conducting an internal investigation in connection with concerns raised by a former employee.
> Updated May 14, 2018, 9:30 a.m. ET: Symantec to host investigation call later today.
Original May 11 MSSP Alert Report: The company has retained independent counsel and other advisors to assist in its internal investigation, according to a prepared statement. The company has voluntarily notified the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) about the investigation and plans to provide additional information to the SEC as the investigation progresses. Symantec also indicated its financial results and guidance may be subject to change based on the investigation's outcome.
The internal investigation is in its early stages, and the investigation's duration or outcome cannot be predicted, the company said.
Symantec: No Further Comment
Concern about the investigation intensified when Symantec declined to answer analyst questions during the company's earnings announcement on Thursday night.
Symantec recorded generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) revenue of $1.2 billion in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018, up 10 percent year over year. However, the company's Q1 guidance was a bit lighter than Wall Street expected.
The company's massive installed base has faced intense competition from so-called next-generation endpoint security companies like AlienVault and Cylance, and MSP-centric providers like Sophos. Generally speaking, Symantec was late to the shift toward MSP- and cloud-centric security consumption and pricing models.
To jumpstart growth, Symantec acquired Blue Coat for $4.65 billion in 2016, and named Blue Coat CEO Greg Clark to lead the combined company.
Additional insights from Joe Panettieri.