Symantec Slashing Products, Investing In Key Storage, Security Lines


Symantec reported increasing profits but a decline in revenue in its fourth-quarter earnings call, telling Wall Street that its numbers show the company is "healthy." Meanwhile, its board of directors is searching for a third CEO in four years in an effort to jump-start growth.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based security and data management vendor said revenue fell year-over-year, reporting $1.6 billion in fourth-quarter revenue, a 7 percent decline from the prior-year period. The company's net income came in at $217 million, resulting in earnings of 32 cents per share, which falls in line with the guidance Symantec set after it abruptly fired CEO Steve Bennett.

Interim CEO Michael Brown told investors to expect modest revenue growth returning during the second half of the fiscal year as a result of improved direct and renewal sales activity, the company's revamped channel program and new product launches.

[Related: Symantec Executives Acknowledge Sluggishness, Promise Product Integration]

"We have deployed a new planning process that enabled us to align priorities and quotas and other sales resources earlier, which allows our teams to get off to a fast start in fiscal 15,” Brown said.

Brown also said that the company is conducting an active search for a chief products officer as it invests in backup, storage management and security. A team also is systematically reviewing every product line and investing in those with the most promise for revenue gains, he said.

"We are methodically evaluating every product line to balance our profitability targets against our growth objectives," Brown said. "Some of our businesses are ideal for improving operating margin, while others are best positioned for growth.”

In backup and storage management, Brown cited new releases of Backup Exec and Enterprise Vault, and a cloud-based disaster recovery product integrated with Microsoft Azure cloud. In security, Brown cited integration with network security appliance makers Check Point Technologies, Palo Alto Network and Sourcefire, which was recently acquired by Cisco Systems, to bolster advanced threat detection and incident response.

Symantec also recently unveiled a communication linkage between its endpoint, email and gateway products it calls Synapse to bridge threat information for more efficient response and protection, Brown said.

NEXT: Partner Optimism About Symantec Turnaround Mixed