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McAfee Expects a Solid Quarter

McAfee reports its fourth-quarter results late on Thursday, and the software maker is again cited as an attractive option for investors.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (

TheStreet

) -- As

McAfee

(MFE)

prepares to report its

fourth-quarter results

,

the software maker

, seeing continued demand for its network security products, is again being highlighted as an attractive option for investors.

With its report due after market close today,

McAfee was one of TheStreet's top tech picks for 2009

and appears to have continued its recent sales momentum.

McAfee's CEO, Dave DeWalt

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect McAfee to post fourth-quarter revenue of $514.81 million and earnings of 64 cents a share, compared to $424 million and 53 cents a share in the same period last year.

The company's shares rose 8 cents, or 0.21%, to $37.42 on Thursday, despite a modest dip in tech stocks that saw the Nasdaq fall 0.11%.

"Expect a solid quarter," wrote Brad Zelnick, an analyst at Macquarie Securities, reiterating his outperform rating on the company. "Our checks imply McAfee results will likely be in line with consensus with the possibility for upside, particularly from strength in its network security product line."

Joel Fishbein, senior analyst at Lazard Capital Markets, has also noted continuing demand for McAfee's products.

"Checks indicate that McAfee continues to track ahead of expectations in the channel, driven by continued market share gains and consolidation of point products to the company's Total Protection suite

of products," he wrote. "Data Leakage Protection (DLP), encryption, vulnerability management, and intrusion prevention continue to drive demand."

McAfee posted record third-quarter revenue

despite a profit slump, and it's seen as one of the

best-positioned

cybersecurity

stocks.

McAfee, which competes with

Symantec

(SYMC) - Get Report

and

TheStreet Recommends

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

, has become something of a Wall Street

darling

in the last few years, and is now a major

challenger

to its more established rivals.

Symantec has increased the pressure on McAfee

, recently clinching a deal with

Comcast

(CMCSA) - Get Report

whereby the communications giant will offer its software to high-speed Internet customers. Comcast already offered McAfee's software.

McAfee has hardly been sitting on its hands, though, recently forging deals with

Verizon

(VZ) - Get Report

and

Facebook

. It has also been said to be eyeing a partnership with

Hewlett-Packard

(HPQ) - Get Report

.

Server and software giant H-P currently sells Symantec's software as part of an OEM deal. The partnership, however, is said to expire sometime in the first half of this year, with McAfee likely to bid for at least some of the business.

-- Reported by James Rogers in New York

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