Symantec struggling for growth in its latest quarter

Symantec saw its profits drop, but still beat Wall Street expectations during its most recent quarter.

Nearly a year after its acquisition of Veritas Software, Symantec continues to struggle to find a way to boost profits. The company has reported quarterly profits of $US279 million for the first three months of 2006, a drop from the $US314 million reported during the same period last year.

Revenue for the combined company was up slightly, totalling $US1.3 billion for the quarter, compared to $US1.29 billion a year ago. And the company's earnings for this fourth fiscal 2006 quarter, which ended March 31, amounted to $US0.26 per share, just slightly ahead of analyst expectations.

Symantec completed its $US13.5 billion acquisition of Veritas in July 2005, and has since struggled to convince Wall Street that the merger of the two company's security and storage technologies makes sense. Symantec's stock (SYMC), which was trading in the $US32 range before the acquisition was announced, closed on Tuesday at $US17.09.

During this most recent quarter, Symantec saw no growth in its consumer business, which accounts for 28 per cent of revenue. Sales of the company's data protection products dropped 8 per cent year over year.

The company had better luck with its enterprise security line, which includes content filtering and intrusion prevention software. This line of business grew 9 per cent year-over-year.

Sales in the Americas region, which represent more then half of Symantec's total revenue, dropped 2 per cent from the previous year. International sales were up 5 per cent, however, led by the Asia-Pacific region, where revenue grew by 9 per cent from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2005.

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