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topped Wall Street's

third-quarter results

estimates and offered healthy guidance after market close on Wednesday as the software maker's

turnaround continues


The security and storage specialist reported revenue of $1.6 billion and earnings of 35 cents a share, compared to $1.55 billion and earnings of 40 cents a share in the same period last year. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had predicted revenue of $1.58 billion and earnings of 33 cents a share.

Software maker Symantec reported its third-quarter results after market close.

"I think that the company is definitely gaining momentum right now," said Enrique Salem, the Symantec CEO, in an interview with


. "I am very pleased with the results."

With Symantec apparently overcoming the execution issues that weighed on it in recent years, investors responded positively to the results. Shares of Symantec rose 49 cents, or 2.77%, to $18.29 in extended trading on Wednesday.

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Symantec's numbers also come hot on the heels of strong quarterly results from


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, and provide yet more evidence of a healthy IT spending environment.

"We saw a good spending environment in the December quarter," added Salem. "Growth of information is increasing

and there were also high-profile attacks like WikiLeaks that are making people aware that they have to protect their information."

The Symantec CEO told


that Symantec saw particularly strong demand for its backup and Data Loss Prevention (DLP) offerings, addding that mobility, virtualization and cloud computing are all helping drive the IT refresh.

The software firm, which competes with





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, also gave healthy fourth-quarter guidance, projecting revenue between $1.585 billion and $1.605 and earnings of between 35 to 36 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had predicted sales of $1.58 billion and earnings of 35 cents a share.

In a separate announcement released after market close Symantec confirmed that its board had authorized a $1 billion share repurchase. "We have a very strong cash generation capability and we think that's a good way to return cash to our shareholders," said Salem.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

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