back to article Symantec hit by massive goodwill impairment

Symantec announced moderately satisfying but recession-hit numbers for the full fiscal 2009 year, with the final quarter showing a revenue drop. A massive goodwill impairment charge of $7.4bn blew an enormous, non-cash hole into net income numbers for the full year and its final quarter. Fourth quarter fiscal 2009 revenues …


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  1. Roger Heathcote

    Massive goodwill impairment.

    Might that be all the people who buy Norton AV when they get a virus only to find out it doesn't do dick? Might it be all the people who's computers ground to a halt when they installed Norton AV? The people who got a virus despite having Norton AV? The people who were duped into getting Norton AV from PC world instead of a better or cheaper product because of their special relationship? The people who's computers became unstable after installing Norton AV or maybe the people who wasted whole days of their life trying to get Norton AV uninstalled?

    It's nice to see that being shit and selling crap CAN affect a companies bottom line directly.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Massive goodwill impairment

    Like Roger, I'm a former NAV customer turned anti-NIS believer (evangelist doesn't seem quite the right word, but the relationship between Symantec and volume PC builders is in my opinion close to conspiracy to obtain money by deception, or maybe plain ordinary blackmail. Fortunately for them IANAL).

    But was NIS really the source of a goodwill impairment on that scale? Where's the analysis?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Two things:

    1) what is a goodwill impairment for the financially challenged among us?

    2) @Roger Heathcote; nice focus on the home market but I think 'experiences' of the corporate market with Symantec Endpoint Protection 11.0 may not be entirely irrlevant (waits for screams of pain).

  4. Liam

    symantec suck balls

    they do. they really do.

    personally i would never go near a Symantec product - but they were here when i joined this place. backup exec (pile of steaming turd) and the terrible Endpoint Protection. it took them MONTHS to get endpoint working on SBS2003!

    i agree with Roger, the sooner they die the better! norton ghost was the only decent product ive ever seen them make!

  5. Steve


    I'm always surprised by the vitriol that sometimes greets Norton AV. I've used it for years, as a corporately-mandated standard, and the only time I ever 'caught' a virus was when I foolishly turned off the firewall for 2 minutes when I was connected to a supposedly 'safe' network.

    Granted I don't surf porn sites, but why the anti-Norton reaction? It's always proved easy to remove/upgrade.

  6. Peter Simpson

    My antivirus program?

    GNU/Linux, of course!

    With the added benefit that my system runs faster than XP with an antivirus taking a % of the CPU every time I open a file.

  7. Matthew Saroff
    Paris Hilton

    I'm Confused

    I understand that Symentec is a computer company, and what the word "goodwill" means, but this appears to lose all meaning when the two are juxtaposed in a single article.

  8. Keith Doyle

    What's wrong with this picture...

    "Goodwill" doesn't mean what you think it means here.

  9. Tom

    "norton ghost...

    was the only decent product ive ever seen them make!"

    They just bought that one. They just keep making it bigger, and every time MS changes NTFS they make you buy an upgrade (with new bugs).

  10. Doug Lynn

    evangelist doesn't seem quite the right word - you're right!

    Hi, I am a computer reseller and dumped Symantec years ago. NAV is blot ware and almost impossible to remove to reinstall unless you are a computer expert. Only the accountant who wrote this article understands it... by the way the word evangelist is a Christian word only not to be used secularly with an adjective. Look it up in the dictionary. He is a man of God who goes out into the world and evangelizes(brings people to Jesus Christ) Like Billy Graham.

  11. Alice Andretti

    How can *any* AV company properly defend Windows?

    I used to be a Norton customer, going back many years (off and on), and at one point I was actually quite happy with Norton - but not anymore. I'm not a Norton-hater, but I just don't use their products anymore.

    Some of the blame for Norton's problems can no doubt be attributed to Microsoft for creating an OS that seemingly can't be adequately protected regardless of users' safe-computing habits (not running as admin, not visiting dodgy sites, not using IE, using Firefox w/NoScript, etc.). Thus causing a growing number of users to abandon Windows altogether, for some other OS for which Norton offers no AV apps. Maybe Norton should get into the Linux AV market ;) to recapture some of that lost revenue ;)

    And/or blame the alleged "organized-crime" highly-motivated black-hats who are trying really hard to make money for themselves by compromising your PC (botnets, spam zombies, whatever).

    Minor blame goes to Norton itself for irritating buggy products, although their current products are much better than some of their older stuff, IMO. (At least NIS 2009 didn't use 100% CPU, however I'm not sure NIS 2009 actually *protected* against very much, either, if the Norton forums are any indication.)

    Bottom line: I just don't think ANY company, Norton or anyone else, is up to the task of defending modern computers. Or, at least, modern Windows. Not so sure I trust Linux (or modern Macs) very much either, with the possible exception of certain Live CD's that have been set up for better security, but even so...

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