Symantec Reports Solid Q4 Revenue Growth

For its fiscal fourth quarter ended March 30, Symantec reported net income of $61 million, or 7 cents per share, down from $118.8 million, or 11 cents per share, a year ago. The drop was the result of a $51 million charge Symantec incurred due to job cuts and restructuring initiatives.

Excluding charges, Symantec reported earnings per share of 24 cents, which outpaced analysts' expectations of 20 cents per share.

Symantec racked up revenue of $1.35 billion during the quarter, up from $1.24 billion a year ago. Deferred revenue at the end of March 2007 stood at $2.75 billion.

In a conference call, Symantec Chairman and CEO John Thompson said the cleanup from Symantec's botched ERP implementation in November 2006 is nearly complete.

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"I think we are beyond the critical stage, where we are making continuous improvements in our systems environment, with software to improve the administration around our services business," Thompson said.

Symantec's licensing portal issues have been addressed through a release of updated software, and another update is on the way, Thompson added.

Symantec's services revenue grew 31 percent year-on-year and now stands at 5 percent of total revenue. Thompson's goal -- stated on many occasions -- is for Symantec to derive 10 percent of its total revenue from services by 2010.

Revenue from Symantec's Security and Data Management group accounted for 38 percent of total revenue and grew 2 percent year-on-year. Thompson said he's happy with the group's performance, and attributed the success to growth in the Storage Foundation and Net Backup product lines.

However, Symantec's Data Center Management business remained flat compared to last year, accounting for 27 percent of total revenue during the quarter.

Symantec's Consumer business represented 30 percent of total non-GAAP revenue and grew 11 percent year-over-year, according to Thompson, who said he was "very pleased" by Norton 360's performance since its release in February.

"With over a million units shipped so far, [Norton 360 is] the single most significant release we've ever made in the company," Thompson said.

For its June quarter, Symantec expects revenue of between $1.275 billion and $1.305 billion, with earnings per share of between break-even and 2 cents.

For fiscal 2008, Symantec expects revenue of between $5.59 billion and $5.69 billion.