Excluding charges, the maker of security titles such as Norton Utilities and Norton AntiVirus earned $51.4 million, or 78 cents per share. Analysts polled by First Call had expected the company to report a profit of 73 cents a share.
Separately, Symantec executives approved a plan to buy back up to $700 million in stock. Symantec had about 75 million shares outstanding at the end of December.
Shares of Symantec rose to $51.56 in after-hours trading Wednesday on the Island ECN. Shares have fallen considerably since hitting a high of $81.63 in March.
Third-quarter revenue increased 18 percent year-over-year to $219.3 million, which includes $7.9 million from its recent acquisition of Axent Technologies.