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Symantec CFO: License Slowdown Spells Opportunity

Stocks in this article: SYMC VMW

Previously, the software maker had projected sales of $1.72 billion to $1.73 billion and earnings of 41 cents to 42 cents a share.

Despite declining fourth-quarter license sales, Beer noted that Symantec's revenue climbed 9% year over-year to $6.73 billion in fiscal 2012, while earnings increased 13% to $1.61 a share. Both numbers were in line with analysts' estimates.

"We were actually pleased with the overall company performance," he told TheStreet.

Symantec, however, is now in the "investor penalty box" until it convinces investors that its March quarter was just a hiccup, according to FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives.

Ives lowered his Symantec price target from $21 to $20, after trimming his first-quarter estimates for the company. The analyst, however, maintained his outperform rating on the company in a note released on Thursday.

"We continue to stay the course on the Symantec story as we believe the company is slowly moving in the right direction with improving underlying trends in its core security markets, coupled with a product cycle on the storage front that should help catalyze growth during the course of fiscal year 2013," he explained.

For the first quarter, Symantec said it expects revenue between $1.645 billion and $1.66 billion, and earnings between 37 cents and 38 cents a share, compared to Wall Street's sales forecast of $1.66 billion and earnings of 42 cents a share.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

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