Symantec Rises After Beating Wall Street

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Antivirus software leader Symantec saw its stock price jump Thursday following third-quarter earnings that handily beat analysts' estimates.

Symantec posted revenue of $290.2 million for the third fiscal quarter ended Dec. 28, 2001, with earnings per share of 78 cenys before one-time charges and the amortization of acquisition-related charges; the Wall Street consensus was 64 cents a share with average revenue estimate of $264.02 million. As a result of the positive financial results, Symantec shares jumped more than 12 percent or $8.40 to $75.35 Thursday. Symantec officials also gave a bright outlook for the fourth quarter, predicting revenue between $285 million and $295 million.

"During these times of complex threats and heightened awareness for security, the performance of our enterprise business underlines the strength of our technology and the breadth of our product portfolio," says John W. Thompson, Symantec chairman and CEO, in a statement. "In addition, our consumer business performed exceedingly well with a record 5.3 million packaged products shipped during the third quarter, nearly 2 million more than has ever shipped in one quarter."

Symantec's net income before one-time charges and the amortization of acquisition-related charges, primarily from the AXENT acquisition, for the fiscal third quarter was $59.4 million, compared to $40.4 million from the same quarter one year ago. All figures include historical results of operations from the acquired AXENT Technologies. Including one-time charges and the amortization of goodwill and all other acquisition related expenses, Symantec reported earnings per share at break even.

Symantec's total antivirus product sales increased 53 percent during the quarter as compared to the year ago quarter, while sales of the company's intrusion-detection solutions increased 39 percent from the same quarter a year ago. The security software maker recently revamped its channel strategy and partner program in an effort to increase software and solutions sales through resellers. Symantec is also focusing on building its managed security services offering while scaling back on consulting and integration services and giving the bulk of such work to partners.

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