Insightful analysis and commentary for the US and global equity investor
Contributors: Douglas McIntyre Jon C. Ogg

Previous Posts

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Shorts Face the Guillotine At Symantec

Stocks: (SYMC)(YHOO)

The short position in Symantec at mid-July was huge. It had risen 23.9 million to 45.1 million, or 88%. Given that Symantec has the 11th largest short position of any stock traded on Nasdaq, the move was breathtaking.

But, the bet was wrong, or so it seems now.

Symantec revenue rose to $1.26 billion from $699 million in the year ago period. The revenue from the 2005 quarter did not include revenue from acquired company Veritas. The company raised its outlook for the year, and the CEO commented that the market had been overly concerned about the acquisition risk of Veritas.

The share of the company, famed for its Norton anti-virus software, jumped 10% top $17.38. The company now trades at 18% above its 52-week low. The company is still well shy of its 12-month high of $24.01, but getting out of the trough.

Short sellers obviously gambled that putting Symantec and Veritas together would be tough. The market also probably did not see the alliance with Yahoo! to distribute Norton software to the big websites customers. On the surface, it is a very good deal for Symantec.

Even Merrill Lynch rolled the dice a few days ago and cut Symantec to "neutral" from "buy". It could be that move cost some Merrill customer a few dollars.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at He does not own securities in companies that he writes about.

Powered by Blogger