Symantec Slides on Weak Outlook

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. ( TheStreet -- Symantec ( SYMC) shares tumbled in pre-market trading on Tuesday after the software maker reported weaker-than-expected preliminary fourth-quarter results.

The security and storage specialist anticipates fourth-quarter revenue of $1.68 billion, below its prior guidance of $1.72 billion to $1.73 billion and nearly flat with a total of $1.67 billion in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were looking for sales of $1.73 billion.
Symantec preliminary fourth-quarter results on Tuesday.

"A greater percentage of enterprise subscription contracts resulted in higher deferred revenue than expected," said Enrique Salem, the Symantec CEO, in a statement. "We experienced weaker than expected license performance due to fewer license rich storage and server management deals in the quarter compared to the year ago period."

Symantec shares slid $1.44, or 7.97%, to $16.63 ahead of the opening bell. Based on Monday's regular-session close at $18.07, the stock was up 15.5% so far in 2012.

Excluding items, Symantec now expects fourth-quarter earnings of 38 cents a share, down from its prior forecast of 41 to 42 cents a share. Analysts were looking for earnings of 42 cents a share.

-- Written by James Rogers in New York.

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