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The Best And Worst Technology Company Stocks In The First Half Of 2018

Twenty-eight of the 44 technology companies on our watch list recorded gains in the price of their publicly traded shares in the first half of 2018. Take a look at who were the winners and who were the losers.

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BlackBerry

CEO: John Chen

Dec. 29, 2017 Close: $11.77

June 29, 2018 Close: $9.64

Change: -18.10%

On March 15 BlackBerry announced an agreement to extend CEO John Chen's contract through November 2023. Chen joined the company in November 2013 under a five-year contract that was set to expire this coming November.

The company noted that under Chen's leadership the mobile device maker has shed its hardware manufacturing business, returned to financial stability and made strategic investments in cybersecurity and embedded software – product areas that are the source of most of the company's growth today.

For its fiscal 2019 first quarter (ended May 31), BlackBerry reported revenue of $213 million, down more than 9 percent from $235 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2018. The company reported a $60 million loss for the quarter compared with net income of $671 million one year earlier – the latter largely due to a royalty dispute settlement with Qualcomm.

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Symantec

CEO: Greg Clark

Dec. 29, 2017 Close: $28.06

June 29, 2018 Close: $20.65

Change: -26.41%

In May Symantec began an internal investigation of the company's reporting of some non-GAAP financial measures, including those that could impact executive compensation programs. The investigation, triggered by concerns raised by a former employee, is also looking at commentary around historical financial results and stock trading plans.

While the investigation is under way the company has put all discretionary and performance-based compensation for executives on hold and has delayed filing its 10-K report for the financial results for its fiscal 2018 ended March 30.

In August, after the period covered by this analysis, activist investor Starboard Value disclosed that it had acquired a 5.8 percent stake in Symantec and had nominated five candidates for the company's board as part of its campaign to get Symantec to make operational changes and improve its profit margins.

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Extreme Networks

CEO: Ed Meyercord

Dec. 29, 2017 Close: $12.52

June 29, 2018 Close: $7.96

Change: -36.42%

For its fiscal 2018 fourth quarter (ended June 30), Extreme Networks reported revenue of $278.3 million, up 56 percent from $178.9 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017. The company reported a $5.6 million loss for the quarter compared with net income of $13.2 million one year earlier.

For all of fiscal 2018 (ended June 30), Extreme Networks reported revenue of $983.1 million, up 62 percent from $607.1 million in fiscal 2017. The company reported a loss of $46.8 million compared with the $1.7 million loss in fiscal 2017.

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Quantum

CEO: Jamie Lerner

Dec. 29, 2017: $5.63

June 29, 2018: $2.22

Change: -60.57%

On Jan. 11 Quantum disclosed that it had received a subpoena from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regarding the company's accounting practices and internal controls relating to revenue recognition for transactions since April 1, 2016. The company's own internal audit committee began an investigation and on Feb. 8 the company postponed release of its fiscal 2018 third-quarter results while that investigation is under way.

Five days later the company named Patrick Dennis to be the company's new president and CEO, replacing Jon Gacek who left the company in November after disappointing fiscal 2018 second-quarter results. Dennis was previously president and CEO of Guidance Software, and before that held a number of strategy, sales, operations, engineering and services posts at EMC.

But in a shocker, Quantum announced on May 30 that Dennis was leaving "to focus on pressing family matters" and that CFO Fuad Ahmad, who held that post for two years, was no longer with the company. Michael Dodson was named CFO and interim CEO. Then, on June 26, the company said that former Cisco and Seagate executive

The company, meanwhile, has yet to release its financial results for fiscal 2018 (ended March 31) or for the quarters ended Dec. 31, 2017 and June 30, 2018. The company faced delisting on the New York Stock Exchange, but was recently given until Jan. 15, 2019, to file its earnings. The company's stock has remained on a downward trajectory from more than $8 per share on Aug. 1, 2017 to below $1.65 in early August, only recently rebounding above $2 per share.

 
 
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