Symantec lowers earnings results after software glitch

Symantec lowers earnings results after software glitch

Symantec has lowered its reported revenue for the first quarter of fiscal 2005 by $US20 million after discovering that it had incorrectly configured an internally developed accounting tool, the company said.

The error, which involved software used to calculate deferred subscription revenue from its international retail business, was discovered on August 3, Symantec chairman and CEO, John Thompson, said.

The bug caused the company to recognise revenue incorrectly over a period of two years, although it was adjusting its revenue only for the quarter in which the error was discovered, Thompson said.

The error had no effect on Symantec's cash position, making the adjustment in keeping with generally accepted accounting practices, he said.

The $US20 million would now be recognised as deferred revenue over the next year, Thompson said.

In July, Symantec reported first-quarter revenue of $US577 million and net income of $US131 million.

Symantec's accounting tool had been configured to record international sales as if they were in US dollars, Thompson said.

"Were it not for the divergence between the US dollar and the Euro, we probably would have never caught it," he said.

"At the time we implemented the tool, the ratio between the European currency and the US dollar was almost one to one."

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