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RSA profit in line with estimates

RSA Security meets earnings expectations for the first quarter and announces an encryption software deal with cell phone maker Ericsson.

RSA Security met earnings expectations for the first quarter and announced a deal with a major cellular phone maker, sending the stock up almost 17 percent at one point Tuesday.

Chief Executive Art Coviello said the security software company saw strong bookings in the quarter and expected to continue to meet financial targets.

RSA shares ended regular Nasdaq trading up $3.31, or more than 14 percent, to $26.31.

The company makes hardware and software used to protect and manage computer network access. Analysts had been expecting the company to do well. The company said Monday at its security industry conference in San Francisco that demand for its authentication and encryption services was strong despite the slowdown in information technology spending.

Revenue for the first quarter was $76.3 million, up 21 percent from the year-ago figure of $63.3 million. Net income, including the results of RSA Capital, the company's investment arm, was $8.8 million, or 14 cents per diluted share. That figure included a pretax gain of $14.3 million from investment activities.

Earnings from the company's core business were $9.6 million, or 16 cents per diluted share. First Call consensus had been for a 16 cents per share profit. RSA is expected to report 2001 earnings of 78 cents per share and revenue of $358.65 million.

RSA also said Tuesday that mobile phone maker Ericsson will use RSA's BSAFE encryption software to secure its entire line of mobile Internet-enabled terminals and phones. Financial terms of the deal were not announced.

RSA announced a deal Monday with VeriSign to develop security technology for wireless devices. VeriSign will incorporate RSA's encryption technologies into it Wireless Trust Services, the companies said.