Symantec ( SYMC)'s profits almost tripled in its second-quarter results, boosted by strong sales of its storage and server management products. Second-quarter net income rose to $140 million, or 16 cents a share, compared with $50 million, or 6 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding charges, the company posted net income of $311 million, or 37 cents a share, compared to $263 million, or 29 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts expected earnings, excluding charges, of 35 cents a share. Revenue rose to $1.52 billion, up 6% on the same period last year and slightly below analyst estimates of $1.54 billion. Symantec attributed the lower revenue figure to fluctuations in foreign exchange rates. The company had estimated revenues between $1.52 billion and $1.56 billion and earnings between 34 and 36 cents per share. In the second quarter, Symantec's storage and server management business grew 12% year over year and accounted for 38% of the company's total revenues. "We continue to be pleased by the growth there," said James Beer, Symantec's CFO, noting users are looking for software to squeeze more efficiency out of their server and storage hardware. For the third quarter, Symantec expects revenue between $1.45 billion and $1.5 billion, and earnings between 30 and 33 cents, excluding charges. Analysts were expecting third-quarter revenues of $1.61 billion and earnings of 36 cents. The company, which competes with EMC ( EMC) in storage and McAfee ( MFEE) in the security software niche, is planning to launch a new version of its popular Enterprise Vault software in 2009, company executives said on a conference call late Wednesday.
"This will feature advanced electronic discovery capabilities," said Enrique Salem, Symantec's COO, who noted it will highlight Enterprise Vault's ability to archive and search
important files and emails.