UPDATE 3-Symantec revenue beats Street view, shares rise

* Q4 non-GAAP revenue $1.535 bln vs $1.519 bln Street view

* Q4 EPS ex items 40 cents vs Street view 37 cents

* Q4 EPS had 4 cent benefit from lower-than-forecast taxes

* Shares rise 5.2 pct

(Adds tax benefit, background)

By Jim Finkle

BOSTON, May 5 (BestGrowthStock) – Symantec Corp’s (SYMC.O: )
quarterly revenue beat analysts’ expectations as a rebound in
PC sales helped the top maker of security software post the
strongest growth in consumer anti-virus software in two years.

Symantec shares rose 5.2 percent on the results, which
contrasted sharply with that of McAfee Inc (MFE.N: ), the No. 2
maker of security software, which missed Wall Street forecasts
last week. McAfee also issued a weak profit forecast.

Symantec said revenue excluding deferred revenue related to
acquisitions rose 3 percent to $1.535 billion in its fiscal
fourth quarter ended April 2. That beat the average analyst
forecast of $1.519 billion, according to Thomson Reuters
I/B/E/S.

“This was a huge inflection point, especially after
McAfee’s print,” said FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives.

McAfee said last week the costs of fixing a software bug
that damaged the PCs of more than 100 big corporate customers
would push profits during the current quarter below Street
expectations. It also confessed to problems fulfilling orders
and blamed the strengthening U.S. dollar for weakness in the
quarter that ended March 31.

Analysts said it was too soon to say whether Symantec was
taking market share away from McAfee. Symantec executives said
they were well positioned compared with all their competitors.

“We’re in a very strong position for fiscal year 2011 in
the security business,” Symantec Chief Executive Enrique Salem
said on a conference call.

Profit, excluding items, came to 40 cents per share in
quarter, ahead of the average analyst forecast of 37 cents.

The company said it had an unexpected 2 cent per share
benefit from a lower-than-expected tax rate.

Consumer sales rose 9 percent as Symantec benefited from a
surge in sales of personal computers in the first quarter. More
customers also bought Symantec’s top-of-the-line security
software, Norton 360, rather than less expensive programs.

Industry tracker IDC said global PC shipments rose 24
percent from a year earlier, while Gartner put the growth rate
at 27 percent in the first quarter.

Revenue at the Symantec division that sells security
software to businesses rose 2 percent on stronger demand from
small and mid-sized businesses.

Storage software sales fell 1 percent, their narrowest
decline since the quarter that ended in December 2008.

Chief Financial Officer James Beer said in an interview
that storage software sales have not dropped since Oracle Corp
(ORCL.O: ), one of the division’s biggest resellers, announced it
would stop promoting Symantec’s products.

Beer said Oracle will continue to sell Symantec’s storage
software, but its sales staff will not receive any incentives
for selling the products.

The Mountain View, California-based Symantec forecast
first-quarter earnings per share of 35 cents to 36 cents,
compared with an analyst forecast of 36 cents.

Symantec reported quarterly net income of $184 million, or
23 cents per share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $264
million, or 32 cents.

Its shares rose to $17.10 in after-hours trading from a
Nasdaq close of $16.25.

Stock Analysis

(Reporting by Jim Finkle; editing by Andre Grenon)

UPDATE 3-Symantec revenue beats Street view, shares rise