Symantec storage revenue down; job cuts ahead

Symantec plans to lay off some staff as part of a $200 million cost-cutting program

With sales of its storage software dropping, Symantec plans to lay off some staff as part of plans to cut US$200 million in expenses.

The cuts were announced Wednesday as Symantec posted financial results that fell short of expectations. Symantec reported earnings of $US0.12 per share on $US1.31 billion in revenue for its third quarter of fiscal 2007, ended Dec. 29. The software vendor had previously said that it expected earnings per share in the range of $US0.14 or $US0.15 and revenue as high as $US1.35 billion.

Symantec had warned of the poor results a week ago, putting some of the blame on its Data Center Management Group, which sells the storage software Symantec acquired in its 2005 purchase of Veritas.

Revenue for this business declined 8 percent year over year, Symantec said Wednesday. This product line represents more than a quarter of Symantec's overall business, the company said.

Geographically, Symantec also posted sluggish 5 percent growth in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Symantec said it plans to cut $US200 million in costs by reducing hiring, consolidating some of its offices, and by making some staff reductions.

The software vendor's consumer business, newly under threat from Microsoft's competing security products, was a bright spot for the quarter. Revenue there was up 24 percent, Symantec said.

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