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1/31/2006
07:17 PM
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Symantec Girds For Microsoft's Security Entry

Symantec's CEO says the company will increase its consumer marketing and channel investment to stay a step ahead as Microsoft enters the security game.

Symantec is anticipating increased competition from Microsoft in 2006, but plans to maintain the company's market position by staying one step ahead of the software giant, said chairman and CEO John Thompson.

"We expect Microsoft to enter the security markets certainly this year," Thompson said. "As such we plan to increase our investments in consumer marketing and channel-related programs ahead of their market entry to fortify our leadership position."

Speaking on the Cupertino, Calif., security vendor's earnings call Tuesday, Thompson added that Symantec plans to "extend our leadership in key enterprise segments by investing in new technologies."

Symantec Tuesday reported earnings of $90.7 million, or 8 cents per share, in its third quarter, compared to $163.6 million, or 22 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

Symantec's results included a $166 million charge related to the acquisition of Veritas Software. Before the charge, Symantec posted earnings of 26 cents per share, beating analysts estimates of 25 cents.

Revenue for the security company grew to $1.15 billion for the quarter, up from $695.2 million in the year-ago quarter.

"Our December quarter was driven by a record number of large transactions and robust performance in backup, e-mail archiving and high availability solutions,” Thompson said.

For the current quarter, the company projected earnings of 25 cents per share on revenue between $1.25 billion and $1.28 billion.

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