Cyber Security Giant Symantec Sacks CEO -- and Shares Are On Sale

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- You only get so long to perform a turnaround. Steve Bennett -- who was replaced as the CEO of the computer security software company Symantec (SYMC) on Thursday -- probably thinks that 20 months was not long enough. But the company's board were not convinced. As they wrote in a statement that was released after the market close Thursday:

"This considered decision was the result of an ongoing deliberative process, and not precipitated by any event or impropriety."

When Bennett joined Symantec, its shares were below $15. During his tenure as CEO, the stock rallied as high as $27, as investors initially agreed with his efforts to streamline and reorganize Symantec's product range -- including Norton anti-virus software -- as well as to cut costs. The last two quarterly corporate disclosures, though, have disappointed the market. This appears, at first glance, to have had some influence.

So what should investors think?

The shares are down today to levels last seen over a year ago. As of 11:30 a.m., they're trading at $18.02, down 13.8% for the day. Year to date, the stock is down 23.4%.

Yet the cyber security sector appears to be as attractive as ever. Businesses and consumers, on both their networks and electronic devices, only have a greater need for security over time. That's why companies like Check Point Software (CHKP) and Palo Alto Networks (PANW) have had such strong stock prices recently.

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