Symantec to buy Brightmail

The security specialist says it plans to pay $370 million to acquire Brightmail, a maker of tools for blocking spam and viruses.

Security specialist Symantec announced on Wednesday that it plans to pay $370 million to acquire Brightmail, a maker of tools for blocking spam and viruses.

San Francisco-based Brightmail, which filed the preliminary paperwork for an initial public offering in March, reported a net income of about $1.1 million on revenue of $26 million in 2003, compared with a net loss of $5.2 million on revenues of $12.1 million in 2002, according to its U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Once known mostly for its Norton AntiVirus tools, Symantec is expanding to provide a variety of security software, services and hardware. To this end, it has made a number of acquisitions in the past two years, including SafeWeb and On Technology.

Symantec invested in Brightmail in 2000 and holds approximately 11 percent of the company's stock.

In its fourth fiscal quarter, ended April 2, Symantec reported a net profit of $117 million, or 35 cents a share. That compares with a profit of $68 million, or 21 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts on average had expected Symantec to post a net profit of 34 cents a share, according to research firm Thomson First Call.

Revenue, meanwhile, climbed to $556 million in the quarter, up 43 percent from a year ago.

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