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Symantec jolted by Cafe

The software maker reports record revenues that beat expectations because of a strong showing in U.S. markets.

Symantec (SYMC) today reported record revenues that beat analysts' expectations because of a strong showing in U.S. markets and solid demand for its Cafe product line.

Net income for the quarter ending March 28 was $8.3 million, or 30 cents a share, up from a net income of $7.9 million or 18 cents for the same quarter a year earlier. After a one-time charge associated with the sale of Symantec's networking business to Hewlett-Packard (HWP), the company reported a net income of 15 cents a share.

Wall Street analysts were expecting the company to report earnings of 25 cents a share, according to First Call.

Revenue for the quarter was $129.7 million, up from revenue of $116 million for the same quarter last year.

The company attributes the increased revenue and net income to healthy demand in U.S. distribution channels and for its Cafe products, a set of visual Java development and debugging tools.

During the quarter, Symantec and ZDNet launched, a Web site that emphasizes PC maintenance. It offers two separate services: a free advice and consultation area maintained by ZDNet and a subscription-based service with access to Symantec's antivirus, utility, and LiveUpdate software.

The company introduced a new version of its fax software, WinFax 8.0, and brought its Norton Utilities to the NT platform with Norton Utilities for Windows NT 4.0. Other new products included the following: Cafe enhancements with the introduction of Cafe 1.5 for Mac, PCAnywhere CE for Handheld PCs, and Norton AntiVirus for Internet Email Gateways.

For the full fiscal year, before acquisition, restructuring, and other expenses, Symantec reported a net income of $43.4 million, or 78 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $700,000, or 1 cent a share. Revenue for the 12 months was $472.2 million, a six percent increase from $445.4 million a year earlier.

Full-year net income after acquisition, restructuring, and other expenses was $26 million or 47 cents per share, compared with a prior-year loss of $39.8 million or 76 cents per share.

In other news, Symantec has signed an agreement with SystemSoft, which will give the company a significant presence in the OEM channel and help create products that will reduce PC users' reliance on technical support. It will link Symantec's technology that automatically fixes PC problems with SystemSoft's technology that helps reduce technical support calls.

Symantec and Informix Software (IFMX) partnered to develop and market solutions allowing developers to rapidly create and deploy next-generation enterprise Java applications. Symantec also announced that Sun Microsystems (SUNW) has agreed to license Symantec's just-in-time Java compiler.

Symantec's stock gained a quarter-point in trading today to close at 12-3/4, up from Friday's close of 12-1/2. The company announced its earnings after the markets closed.