* 4th-qtr adj profit/shr $0.47 vs est $0.42
* 4th-qtr revenue down 7 pct to $1.63 bln
* Sees 2015 adj profit/shr $1.84-$1.92 vs est $1.83
* Sees 2015 revenue $6.63-$6.77 bln vs est $6.66 bln
* Shares up 2 pct in extended trading
(Adds comments from CEO interview; adds conference call
details, updates shares)
By Soham Chatterjee
May 8 Struggling security software maker
Symantec Corp posted a better-than-expected quarterly
profit, helped by cost cutting, and forecast full-year profit
above Wall Street expectations.
Shares of the company, battling falling sales amid eroding
PC sales, rose about 2 percent after the bell.
Symantec interim CEO Mike Brown said he expects revenue to
fall in the first quarter but to grow in the second half of the
year ending March 31, 2015, helped by new mobile and security
products, license renewals, higher pricing and cost cuts.
The company, known for its Norton antivirus software, also
expects adjusted operating margins to improve to 30 percent by
the fourth quarter as it expands its cost cutting programs.
The company had earlier forecast operating margins to grow
above 30 percent by March 31, 2017.
Symantec is expected to benefit from higher spending by
companies on security software to protect their network and data
from sophisticated hacking attacks and malware.
Worldwide spending on security software is expected to grow
to more than $86 billion in 2016, according to research firm
Gartner Inc. (r.reuters.com/qyx89t)
Companies such as FireEye Inc, Palo Alto Networks
Inc and Checkpoint Systems Inc have fared
better than Symantec in selling software to detect and respond
to threats in real time until now.
Symantec's smartphones and tablet security products have
also failed to compete against software from companies such as
Lookout Inc and China-based NQ Mobile Inc.
Symantec said on Thursday it expected an adjusted profit of
$1.84-$1.92 per share on revenue of $6.63-$6.77 billion for the
Analysts on average were expecting a profit of $1.83 per
share on revenue of $6.66 billion, according to Thomson Reuters
The company also expects first-quarter adjusted profit of
41-43 cents per share on revenue of $1.65-$1.69 billion.
Analysts were expecting a profit of 43 cents per share on
revenue of $1.64 billion.
The company's adjusted operating margins increased to 27.1
percent in the first quarter ended March 28 from 24.1 percent a
year earlier. Total operating expenses fell 12 percent.
Net income attributable to the company rose to $217 million,
or 31 cents per share, from $190 million, or 27 cents per share,
a year ago.
On an adjusted basis, the company earned 47 cents per share
beating analysts' estimates of 42 cents per share.
Revenue fell 7 percent to $1.63 billion in the fourth
quarter from $1.75 billion a year earlier. Analysts had expected
"With the departure of ex-CEO Steve Bennett during the
quarter, investors were fearing the worst. Instead, the company
delivered results that slightly exceeded Street expectations,"
FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives said.
Bennett, fired last month, was the second Symantec CEO to be
sacked in less than two years.
The company, under pressure to break up, has hired JPMorgan
Chase & Co to explore strategic options and defend against
activist investors, according to Bloomberg. (r.reuters.com/tar29v)
Shares of the company closed at $20.13 on the Nasdaq on
Thursday. The stock has lost about 15 percent of its value in
the year so far.
(Reporting by Soham Chatterjee; Editing by Rodney Joyce and