Shares of security software maker Symantec Corp. (SYMC), which is currently facing an extensive probe into accounting practices, gained sharply Thursday after the company reported stronger than expected earnings and revenues for the third quarter.
Adjusted earnings, excluding special items, declined 10% annually to $0.44 per share during the three-month period but exceeded Wall Street estimates. On an unadjusted basis, the company posted a profit of $65 million or $0.10 per share, compared to $1.34 billion or $2.01 per share a year earlier when the results benefited from asset sales and income tax gains.
Third-quarter revenues were broadly flat at $1.21 billion, reflecting the softness in both the leading business segments. The top-line, meanwhile, surpassed expectations. Revenues at the Enterprise Security segment dropped 2.6% annually to $625 million, while Consumer Digital Safety revenues increased by 3% to $602 million.
Revenues were flat during the quarter as an increase in the Consumer Digital Safety segment was offset by a decline in Enterprise Security
“We achieved operating results in line or above guidance, while delivering strong cash flow from operations. Enterprises recognize the superior protection, cross-product integration and the lower overall cost of ownership of our Integrated Cyber Defense platform,” said CEO Greg Clark.
The management expects fourth-quarter revenues in the range of $1.19 billion to $1.22 billion. The estimate for adjusted earnings is between $0.37 per share and $0.41 per share. Full-year adjusted earnings are forecast in the $1.57-$1.61 per share range on revenues of $4.73-$4.76 billion. The company also announced an increase in its share repurchase authorization to $1.3 billion.
During the quarter, Symantec appointed Matthew Brown as vice president of finance. Brown has also been assigned the role of chief accounting officer, effective immediately. Most recently, he served as corporate controller.
After losing about 28% last year, Symantec shares have been in recovery mode since the beginning of 2019. The average analysts’ rating on the stock is neutral. It closed Thursday’s regular session higher and gained further in the after-hours following the earnings announcement.
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