Symantec's consumer business declines 10 percent

Symantec's consumer business declines 10 percent

Symantec reported earnings shy of Wall Street expectations as the company's consumer business dropped 10 percent.

With revenue from its consumer business in decline, Symantec has reported earnings on Tuesday that fell short of analyst expectations. Excluding certain expenses, the company reported net income of $US282 million, or $US0.22 per share, for the quarter ended December 30. Total revenue came to $US1.25 billion.

These results, which exclude $US166 million in charges, represent a 5 per cent jump in both earnings and revenue from the year-earlier quarter, when the company reported $US269 million in net income on $US1.19 billion in revenue.

The cost of the company's Veritas merger, completed in July 2005, had a large effect on Symantec's bottom line. When measured according to generally accepted accounting principles, including the charges, the company reported net income of $US91 million, or $US0.08 per share.

Revenue from Symantec's consumer business declined 10 per cent, year over year, the company said. The company's backup business grew 16 per cent.

Symantec has also announced plans to repurchase $1 billion in stock over the next year.

With Microsoft poised to enter the consumer antivirus market, investors and analysts have been expressing concerns about the future of antivirus companies. Last week Symantec rival, McAfee, saw its stock drop 14 per cent after it warned that its results for the last three months of 2005 would fall below Wall Street expectations.

McAfee is expected to release financial results for this quarter on February 9.

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