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Subs, Services Support ISS

Despite strong revenue and profit growth in 2004, shares of Internet Security Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ISSX) slipped on Tuesday after the company missed profit estimates by a penny.

On Monday night ISS announced fourth-quarter revenues of $80.56 million, up from $67.12 million in the same period of 2003. This came in just above analysts' estimates of $79.06 million (see ISS Reports 2004 Results).

However, the company came in slightly light on the profit side. Earnings per share were 19 cents on net income of $9.2 million, which was below analysts estimates of 20 cents per share. These profits were up from 9 cents on $4.45 million in the fourth quarter of 2003.

ISS shares took a hit, probably because investors have come to expect upside surprises from this company and from the security sector in general. In morning trading, ISS shares fell $2.18 (9.75%) to $20.17.

Revenues for the full year 2004 were $289.89 million, compared with $245.78 million for 2003, beating analysts’ estimates of $288.38 million. Annual earnings per share were 54 cents on net income of $26.29 million, compared to 39 cents on $19.74 million for 2003. This was below analysts’ estimates of 63 cents.

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