Security specialist McAfee ( MFE) continues to defy the tough economic climate, comfortably beating analysts' earnings estimate and posting record quarterly revenue Thursday.

Boosted by its consumer business and growth in North America, McAfee's first-quarter sales came in at $448 million, up 21% on the same period last year and in line with analysts' estimate.

McAfee earned 34 cents a share on net income of $53.5 million, up from 18 cents and net income of $30.2 million in the same period last year. Excluding charges, the software firm earned 57 cents a share on net income of $88.6 million, a 31% hike on the same period last year, when McAfee earned 43 cents and $71.2 million. Analysts surveyed by the Thomson Financial Network had expected earnings of 48 cents.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based firm, which competes with Symantec ( SYMC) and Microsoft ( MSFT), is seen as well positioned to cope with the global spending slowdown.

"Despite the challenging economic environment, McAfee continues to deliver strong financial results," said Dave DeWalt, the company's CEO, in a statement.

The company, which was one of's top tech picks for 2009, also offered bullish guidance for the coming quarter.

McAfee expects second-quarter revenue between $455 million and $475 million, in line with Wall Street's projection of $466.02 million. The firm anticipates second-quarter earnings of between 54 cents and 58 cents a share, although this will include a dilution 1 cent to 2 cents a share from McAfee's acquisition of Secure Computing. Analysts had predicted second-quarter earnings of 54 cents a share.