) to buy from neutral.
Analyst Jordan Klein says discussions at an analyst meeting about an extra week being added to the first quarter, and higher-than-expected operating expenditures in the first half of fiscal 2004 created some confusion among investors, and led to an 18% one-day drop in the stock price.
Based on the company's comments at its meeting, Klein says he is keeping his $1.76 fiscal 2003 (March) earnings per share estimate, but is trimming the $2.03 fiscal 2004 estimate to $1.96, and the $2.27 fiscal 2005 estimate to $2.17. He also cut the $50 target to $48.
Klein views Friday's sell-off as excessive given he has yet to find any changes in Symantec's fundamental business that would warrant roughly a $1.2 billion cut in the company's market value.