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Symantec lowers earnings forecast

Change in 2006 bookkeeping related to Veritas business will push the recognition of $100 million in revenue to future periods.

Symantec on Wednesday revised its revenue and earnings forecast downward for its current fiscal year, the result of a previously announced accounting change. The security company expects revenue of between $5.1 billion and $5.3 billion, and earnings per share between 41 cents and 52 cents for the 12-month period ending March 2007, all on a generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, basis. Earlier this month, Symantec had predicted full-year revenue of between $5.2 billion and $5.4 billion, with earnings per share between 46 cents and 57 cents.

The changes are the result of the way the Cupertino, Calif., company recognizes certain revenue related to the Veritas Software storage side of its business, executives said at a meeting with financial analysts in San Mateo, Calif. The change will lower full-year revenue by $100 million, which will be deferred to future periods, Symantec said. The amount of deferred revenue is half of what Symantec indicated on May 9 its fiscal 2006 earnings call. At that time, the change had not been included in its forecast.