Storage jump helps Symantec boost revenue

Symantec reported a 16 percent jump in revenue, to US$1.66 billion, for its most recent quarter.

Led by strong sales in its storage and server management group, Symantec on Wednesday reported a 16 percent jump in revenue for its first quarter of fiscal 2009.

"We had strength across the board. Each of our business units posted strong double-digit growth," said Symantec CEO John Thompson in an interview shortly after the results were announced. "I was quite pleased with how the team executed."

Excluding compensation and restructuring charges, revenue for the quarter, ended July 4, was US$1.66 billion, and earnings were $0.40 per share, a sizeable jump from $0.29 cents per share in the same quarter last year.

The results beat the expectations of financial analysts, who had forecast revenue of US$1.58 billion and earnings per share of $0.35 per share, according to Thomson Financial.

It's the latest in a string of good quarters for Symantec, whose mix of consumer and enterprise storage and security products offer the company "a degree of insulation" from the weakening economy, Thompson said. Symantec bought storage software vendor Veritas in 2005.

"I think there is a ton of caution from some [customers] for sure, and we cannot be unmindful of that," he said. "But by the same token we have products that we consider must-have products."

Buoyed by a weak U.S. dollar, international sales now represent 52 percent of Symantec's business, growing 19 percent year-over-year. Symantec's Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific groups grew fastest during the period.

Thompson expects that piece of the pie to keep growing. "Ideally, I'd love to see the company get to the point where international revenues represent 60 percent or greater of total revenue," he said.

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Robert McMillan

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