Symantec Reiterates Guidance

Security software company Symantec ( SYMC) on Wednesday reiterated previous financial guidance Wednesday, forecasting that revenue will burst through the $1 billion mark for the year ending in March.

Symantec CFO Greg Myers reiterated previous guidance provided during the security software maker's Jan. 16 earnings call, sayingrevenue will grow between 11% and 12% to reach between$1.045 billion and $1.055 billion for fiscal year2002, which ends in March. He said pro forma earningsfor the year are expected to grow between 4% and 8% to between $1.22 and $1.26 a share.

In fiscal year 2003, the Cupertino, Calif., company expects revenue togrow between 16% and 18% to $1.22 billion and $1.24billion. Pro forma earnings are expected to grow about13% to $1.40 a share.

Myers noted that earnings growth would be about 4cents a share greater had it not been diluted by $600 million in convertible bonds issued last year.

The CFO also stood by guidance for the fourth-quarter ending in March 2002, with revenue set at about $290 million and earnings at between 33 cents and 37 cents a share.

Shares of Symantec closed down $2.20, or 6.5%, to $31.83 in trading Wednesday. After hours the stock was up 0.5%, according to Island.

Symantec, perhaps best known for its Norton antivirusconsumer software, is now counting on its enterprisesoftware business to fuel growth. Its goal is toincrease enterprise security revenue by 34% in fiscalyear 2003, so that it makes up 51% of total revenue.

To that end, the company unveiled a new gatewaysecurity product Tuesday that it plans to beginshipping next month. The gateway appliance includesfirewall, virus protection, intrusion detection,content filtering and VPN functions in a singledevice. Its price starts at about $15,000.

Symantec has been singing the benefits of integratingdifferent security functions since it acquired Axentin 2000. At the company's analyst day Wednesday, CEOand Chairman John W. Thompson assured investors thatAxent has been completely folded into Symantec andstood by his belief that customers want integratedsecurity solutions -- and not best of breed.

In addition to the gateway appliance, Symantec plans to ship similar all-in-one products targeting theserver and client levels by midyear. At that time,Symantec also will release the first phase of asecurity management system that will work not onlywith its products but also with those of competitors suchas Check Point Software ( CHKP) and Internet Security Systems ( ISSX).

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