From: Reuters
Published January 23, 2008 06:01 PM

CORRECTED: Symantec quarterly profit up, outlook tops est

(Corrects paragraphs 9 and 10 to reflect that the outlook is for this fiscal year, not fiscal 2009, as previously sent)

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Symantec Corp <SYMC.O> reported an increase in quarterly profit on Wednesday, boosted by strong overseas sales, and forecast current-quarter results above Wall Street estimates, sending its shares up 9 percent.

Symantec, the maker of Norton security software, said net income rose to $132 million, or 15 cents per diluted share, in its fiscal third quarter, from $117 million, or 12 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue, excluding the impact of acquisitions and the expensing of stock options, rose 15 percent to $1.53 billion in the December quarter. Excluding items, Symantec earned 33 cents per share.

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Analysts, on average, had looked for Symantec to earn 29 cents a share excluding items on revenue of $1.45 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

Symantec beat Wall Street expectations in the face of concerns expressed by Chief Executive John Thompson three months ago that U.S. economic problems would hurt Norton sales.

The company was helped by a 21 percent increase in international revenue, which accounts for more than one-half of total revenue. North America and Latin America revenue rose 8 percent.

Symantec, based in Cupertino, California, forecast fourth- quarter earnings of 33 cents to 35 cents per share before items on revenue of $1.51 billion to $1.55 billion.

Wall Street had expected earnings of 30 cents per share on revenue of $1.49 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

For the full year, Symantec sees earnings excluding items ranging between $1.24 to $1.26 per share on revenue of $5.9 billion to $5.94 billion.

By comparison, analysts on average looked for profit of $1.17 per share in fiscal year 2008 on revenue of $5.8 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

Shares of Symantec rose to $16.60 in after-hours trading after closing at $15.26, up 1.6 percent on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Daisuke Wakabayashi; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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