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Symantec's Mixed Bag

Profits fall, but revenue rises, as Symantec gears up for a tussle with Google

Symantec suffered falling profits in its first quarter results last night, despite solid growth in its storage and data center software business. (See Symantec Reports Strong Q1.)

The software specialist, which is currently in the middle of a major restructuring, saw profits fall 5.3 percent from the same period a year ago. On a conference call last night, Symantec execs explained that profits were impacted by a $19 million restructuring charge related to workforce reduction and real estate consolidation efforts.Revenues were a different story, rising 11 percent to $1.4 billion from $1.27 billion, comfortably beating analyst estimates of $1.32 billion.

On a GAAP basis, earnings per share were 10 cents, flat compared to the same period last year. Symantec's net income for the quarter was $95 million, compared to $101 million in the year-ago quarter.

Non-GAAP earnings per share were 29 cents on net income of $263 million, up from 24 cents and $253 million in the first quarter of 2006. Analysts had estimated earnings of 20 cents.

Notably, Symantec's storage and data center software products and services saw a 5 percent growth in revenue (to $399.2 million) over the same period a year ago. CEO John Thompson attributed the first quarter's results partially to strong sales of the NetBackup product, which came out of the Veritas deal. Growth in sales was due to "customers desire to standardize and simplify the data center," he said. (See Symantec Bolsters Backup, Symantec Unveils NetBackup 6.5, and Symantec Enhances PureDisk.)

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