RSA Security Tumbles on Guidance

Shares of RSA Security (RSAS)were off more than 12% in early trading Thursday, after the security software vendor posted mostly in-line results for the fourth quarter but offered disappointing guidance for the first quarter.

Revenue for the fourth quarter increased by 18% over last year to a record $83.2 million. Net income increased by 90% to $11.8 million, or 16 cents a share.

Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting a 16-cent profit on revenue of $81.7 million.

Although some analysts had hoped for a penny more in the fourth quarter, the real buzz after the earnings release hit the wires was the guidance: a profit of 13 cents to 15 cents on sales ranging from $81 million to $84 million.

Analysts were projecting earnings of 15 cents a share on revenue of $82.3 million.

"Their high end of EPS guidance is at consensus; it's no surprise RSAS is getting beat up," said Nitsan Hargil, an analyst with Friedman Billings Ramsey.

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