Symantec Misses Sales Estimate

Symantec misses Wall Street's sales estimate and offers weak guidance, citing a 'cautious' spending environment.
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This story has been updated with comments from Symantec CEO Enrique Salem, guidance and share price information.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (

TheStreet

) --

Symantec's

(SYMC) - Get Report

sales came in just below Wall Street's estimate in its

first-quarter results

-- the software maker felt the impact of a cautious IT spending environment.

The security and storage specialist reported revenue of $1.433 billion after market close, flat on the same period last year and below analysts' estimate of $1.47 billion. Adjusted for currency, however, Symantec said that its revenue figure was up 2% year-over-year.

Excluding items, Symantec earned 35 cents a share, compared to 33 cents a share in the prior year's quarter. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had predicted earnings of 35 cents a share.

In a statement released after market close, Symantec CEO Enrique Salem explained that the IT spending climate is still uncertain. "This quarter we saw lengthening of procurement cycles driven by continued cautiousness among IT buyers," he said. "In particular, this affected our storage management results."

The Symantec chief, however, added that he is optimistic about the strength the company saw in its public sector business as well as the firm's Data Loss Prevention security products. Symantec's Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings also posted double-digit growth, according to Salem.

Despite Symantec's sales miss, the company enjoyed healthy growth in its consumer business, which grew 6%, year-over-year, or 7%, adjusted for currency. Security sales were up 1% compared to the prior year's quarter, or 2% accounting for the effects of currency. The company's storage and server management business, however, declined 5% year-over-year, or fell 2% accounting for the effects of currency.

Symantec CEO Enrique Salem told

TheStreet

that some of the company's biggest deals came in after the end of the June quarter. "A lot of them closed in July - the good news is that they weren't lost," he said, adding that Symantec is still pushing to close other big deals.

The Symantec chief also said that he seen no evidence of

consumers shunning security software on their tablet computers.

"Tablets are a relatively new phenomenon, and it's too early to say," he explained, during a telephone interview on Wednesday.

Symantec also offered second-quarter guidance, forecasting sales between $1.445 billion and $1.465 billion, well below Wall Street's estimate of $1.53 billion.

Excluding items, Symantec forecast earnings between 27 cents a share and 28 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had forecast earnings of 34 cents a share.

Investors were underwhelmed by Symantec's numbers. The company's stock fell $1.16, or 7.91%, to $13.51 in extended trading, below Symantec's 52-week low of $13.58.

-- Reported by James Rogers in New York

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