Symantec's Q4 Earnings Trounce Expectations

SAN FRANCISCO (04/19/2000) - Antivirus software vendor Symantec Corp. posted strong fourth fiscal quarter earnings today that easily bested Wall Street predictions.

For the quarter ended March 31, 2000, Symantec reported earnings of US$187.2 million, a 22 percent increase on a pro-forma basis over $153.9 million recorded in the same quarter last year, the company said in a statement issued today.

Earnings before the amortization of goodwill and one-time charges were $40.2 million, up 62 percent compared to earnings of $24.7 million in the year-ago quarter. Earnings per share for the quarter were 63 cents, up 46 percent from 43 cents per share from the year before quarter.

A consensus of four brokers polled by First Call/Thomson Financial estimated Symantec would post earnings per share of 53 cents.

For fiscal 2000 as a whole, Symantec posted net revenue of $704.9 million, a 33 percent increase on a pro-forma basis over $530.1 million for fiscal 1999.

Earnings for fiscal 2000 before the amortization of goodwill and one-time charges were $130.9 million, up 65 percent from $79.5 million from fiscal 1999.

Earnings per share for fiscal 2000 were $2.10, up 56 percent from earnings per share of $1.35 for fiscal 1999.

All figures except those from the most recent quarter were adjusted to exclude the results of operations from the company's divestiture of the Visual Cafe and ACT product lines, Symantec said.

The company incurred a quarterly charge related to the amortization of goodwill of $4.5 million and a one-time charge of $7.1 million related to R&D (research and development) in connection with the purchase of L-3 Network Security Inc. and with layoffs.

In the fourth fiscal quarter of 2000, Symantec's consumer business grew worldwide by 26 percent compared to the same quarter last year, accounting for 58 percent of total quarterly revenue. The company's Norton Internet Security product, introduced in December of last year, performed strongly in the consumer division, the company said.

Symantec, in Cupertino, California, can be reached at +1-408-253-9600 or at http://www.symantec.com/.

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