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1/19/2005
05:59 PM
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Undaunted By Microsoft Security Push, Symantec Continues Growth Path

Quarterly revenue grew more than 40%, as Symantec executives vowed to both partner with and compete against Microsoft.

If Microsoft's tepid entrance into the PC security market--with the enhanced security capabilities of Windows XP Service Pack 2 and its recently announced anti-spyware beta application--are going to cut into the earnings of Internet security companies, it hasn't happened yet. At least not in the earnings reported by Symantec Corp. on Wednesday.

Symantec executives showed little concern during an investor conference call Wednesday about Microsoft's foray into their territory. Symantec executives said they believe they'll continue to compete with Microsoft as well as partner with the company.

For its fiscal third quarter ended Dec. 31, Symantec reported revenue of $695 million, up 41% from the same period last year when the company posted $494 million. Net income for the quarter, at $164 million, rose 38% from third-quarter 2003 revenue of $111 million.

The company's consumer software revenue represented 52% of its total revenue and grew 49% year over year. Symantec's sales to businesses--which include corporate security, administration, and services--also grew at a healthy clip of 33% and represent 48% of the company's total revenue. International revenue represents 54% of the company's total revenue.

Symantec expects revenue of between $690 million and $710 million for its fiscal fourth quarter, which would mark 24% or better sales growth from the previous year.

Earlier this week, Symantec said a team will work to manage its $13.5 billion all-stock acquisition of Veritas Software Corp., disclosed on Dec. 16. Veritas CFO Ed Gillis will lead the integration. At the time of the acquisition, Symantec executives said the Veritas acquisition would create a company capable of providing security and information-availability products and services for everyone from home users to large data centers.

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