Symantec Cautiously Optimistic At Fiscal Year's End

Internet security-software maker Symantec Corp. says strong sales to large companies were largely behind the company's revenue and earnings for fiscal 2001. Revenue was $944.2 million, compared with $826.6 million for fiscal 2000. Earnings per share for the 2001 came in at $2.35, compared with $1.88 for fiscal 2000.

Revenue for the fourth quarter, ended March 31, was $250.6 million, up 15% from the same period last year. Earnings per share was 62 cents, compared with 55 cents a year ago.

Symantec CEO John Thompson said in a conference call Wednesday that while Symantec is not immune to an economic downturn, the company has not experienced a slowdown in enterprise-security demand. It was, in fact, the "highlight" of the fourth quarter, he said.

Last year, Symantec acquired intrusion-detection software maker Axent Technologies to help raise its profile with big businesses. At the time, many analysts doubted Symantec's ability to seamlessly integrate Axent into its operations, but Gartner analyst John Pescatore says the company has done so. "I've talked to a number of Axent customers since the acquisition, and not one has complained about how Symantec is now running things," he says.

Symantec execs say the company saw a number of noticeable wins during the fourth quarter, including 17 deals, each worth more than $300,000. Among the new buyers were the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, Reuters, Intel, and BellSouth.

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