Symantec Sweeps Past 3Q Estimates

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With strong sales across its enterprise and consumer product lines, Symantec on Wednesday posted third-quarter earnings that swept past Wall Street estimates.

The security software vendor posted income of $72 million, or 44 cents per share, on $376 million in sales for its third quarter ended Dec. 31. That compares to a income of $100,000 million on $290 million in sales for the same quarter last year.

The company's pro forma income of $77 million, or 47 cents per share, excluding acquisition-related and other onetime charges, meanwhile, compared favorably with the 39 cents per share that analysts had anticipated, according to Thomson Financial/First Call consensus estimate.

Symantec Chairman and CEO John Thompson said the company delivered a record quarter in a challenging economic environment. Sales of the company's enterprise products, including antivirus, firewall/VPN and vulnerability management products, grew 26 percent from the year-ago quarter while Symantec's consumer segment "outperformed even our wildest expectations" with 40 percent growth, he said.

International sales also were a factor in the company's strong results, growing 39 percent, he said.

"These results should validate one more time the strength of our brand," Thompson said.

Symantec on Wednesday also announced an alliance with PricewaterhouseCoopers to combine Symantec's security solutions with PWC's security services for enterprise customers. The alliance will provide customers with a security "dashboard" that gives customers a view of their entire security operation, the companies said.

Thompson said Symantec believes "the security market will be shaped by companies with a more comprehensive view of security to address the rapidly changing threat environment."

The third-quarter results, Thompson said, are "yet one more proof point that our strategy is on the money."

Thompson has been pushing an integrated product strategy that aims to make Symantec a one-stop shop for Internet security for the enterprise.

Competitor Network Associates, meanwhile, has pared back its product lines to focus on antivirus protection and network availability.

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