Symantec Stumbles on Warning

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Shares of Symantec fell 19 percent Wednesday after the company warned that its December quarter results will come in below expectations.

Symantec's September quarter results were ahead of expectations, but the company's guidance for the current quarter -- earnings of 25 cents a share on sales of $1.26 billion -- was below analysts' estimates of 27-cent earnings and $1.35 billion in revenues.

The company blamed delays in its Norton 2006 releases and increased competition for the weak guidance, but analysts were also disappointed in the single-digit sales growth in Veritas products during the companies' first full quarter since their merger closed in early July.

Also weighing on the stock was the announced retirement of CFO Greg Myers, the second high-level departure at the company in recent months.

The broader market fared much better, with tech stocks leading the way higher despite a lackluster response to earnings reports from Symantec, EDS and Sun.

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