Updated from 4:47 p.m. EDT


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, whose CEO said in June that earnings will exceed guidance, handily beat its own forecasts and Wall Street estimates Wednesday on strong growth in both its consumer and enterprise businesses.

The company also announced three acquisitions totaling $355 million in cash.

Symantec posted net income of $56.6 million, or 36 cents a share, in the first quarter, according to generally accepted accounting principles, compared to a net loss of $21.2 million, or 14 cents a share, in the same period a year earlier.

Cupertino, Calif.-based Symantec said excluding charges, it earned pro forma net income of $65.6 million, or 41 cents a share, compared to $33.9 million, or 22 cents a share, a year earlier and $65.1 million, or 41 cents a share, in the fourth quarter.

The company said revenue rose 39% to $316 million in the first quarter from $228 million a year earlier and about 2% from $310.8 million in the previous quarter.

Symantec's first-quarter numbers significantly surpassed the 32 cents a share in earnings and $284.3 million in revenue expected by analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call.

In June, Symantec CEO and Chairman John Thompson said first-quarter sales will reach the upper end of the company's forecast and earnings will exceed its forecast. In April, Symantec projected sales of $280 million to $290 million in the first quarter and pro forma profits of 32 cents a share. At that time, the company projected it would post a fiscal year 2003 pro forma profit of $1.42 a share and said revenue would range from $1.22 billion to $1.25 billion, with the high end raised from previous guidance of $1.24 billion.

Symantec said its enterprise security business grew 35% while its consumer business boasted whopping 90% growth, fueled by unexpectedly strong 133% growth in consumer antivirus sales compared to relatively lower sales a year earlier.

Also Wednesday, Symantec said it acquired Recourse Technologies, Riptech and SecurityFocus. Symantec said Recourse will allow Symantec to offer a gigabit-performance network intrusion detection product, while SecurityFocus has vulnerability database and early warning threat management products.

Shares of Symnatec rose 33 cents, or 1%, to close at $33.10. After the company announced its results, shares climbed to $34.50.