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, saying revenue will grow between 11% and 12% to reach between $1.045 billion and $1.055 billion for fiscal year 2002, which ends in March. He said pro forma earnings for 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 to grow between 16% and 18% to $1.22 billion and $1.24 billion. Pro forma earnings are expected to grow about 13% to $1.40 a share. Myers noted that earnings growth would be about 4 cents 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 antivirus consumer software, is now counting on its enterprise software business to fuel growth. Its goal is to increase enterprise security revenue by 34% in fiscal year 2003, so that it makes up 51% of total revenue.
To that end, the company unveiled a new gateway security product Tuesday that it plans to begin shipping next month. The gateway appliance includes firewall, virus protection, intrusion detection, content filtering and VPN functions in a single device. Its price starts at about $15,000. Symantec has been singing the benefits of integrating different security functions since it acquired Axent in 2000. At the company's analyst day Wednesday, CEO and Chairman John W. Thompson assured investors that Axent has been completely folded into Symantec and stood by his belief that customers want integrated security solutions -- and not best of breed. In addition to the gateway appliance, Symantec plans to ship similar all-in-one products targeting the server and client levels by midyear. At that time, Symantec also will release the first phase of a security management system that will work not only with its products but also with those of competitors such as Check Point Software ( CHKP) and Internet Security Systems ( ISSX).