McAfee Makes Out

Shares rise 8% after numbers top Wall Street forecasts.
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Updated from Oct. 26

McAfee

(MFE)

rose 8% Friday after punching past Wall Street's third-quarter expectations.

Shares rose $2.09 to $28.89.

For the third quarter, the security software company earned $30.3 million, or 19 cents a share, up from $22.5 million, or 13 cents a share in the same period a year ago.

Excluding items, McAfee reported a profit of $58.2 million, or 36 cents a share, compared with $62.8 million, or 37 cents a share, in the same quarter of 2005. On that basis, the company easily surpassed the average analyst estimate of 30 cents a share.

Revenue for the quarter totaled $287.8 million vs. $252.9 million in the comparable quarter. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call forecast sales of $275.7 million.

Results were preliminary, pending the restating of financial statements because of stock-options problems.

Sales in its consumer segment totaled $120 million, growing 14% year over year. McAfee's corporate revenue likewise added 14% to $168 million.

Third-quarter bookings were up by 16% year over year to $349 million.

In a note to investors, Goldman Sachs analyst Sarah Friar said it was a strong quarter for the security company and "should be a positive for the stock given the recent concerns regarding

management departures." Goldman has a banking relationship with McAfee.

"Our third-quarter results reflect good revenue growth in our business and across all of our geographies," said Dale Fuller, McAfee interim CEO and president, who has been on the job for two weeks.

Fuller said the company is in the process of hiring an outside firm to assist in its search for a new CEO. Earlier this month, McAfee CEO George Samenuk retired, and President Kevin Weiss was fired amid the company's stock-options backdating kerfuffle.

McAfee estimates that charges related to the stock-options grant practices will be in the range of $100 million to $150 million.

The company also expects related taxes and additional expenses as a result of the restatement.

For the fourth quarter, the company expects revenue of $275 million to $295 million. McAfee forecast a profit of 16 cents to 20 cents a share, and pro forma net income between 31 cents a share and 35 cents a share.

Analysts peg the company with earnings of 33 cents a share on sales of $287.2 million.

McAfee said it would not provide any guidance for full-year 2007 at this time.

McAfee is currently banned from repurchasing shares until the conclusion of the stock options investigation and adjustment to its financials. It has $246 million authorized for buying back shares until Oct. 25, 2007, and may resume the program when permitted.