With global revenue dropping, Symantec posts big loss

Symantec beat Q3 analyst expectations but saw revenue drop in many regions last quarter.

Symantec posted a big loss Wednesday, citing the tough economic climate, but the company's quarterly earnings still were better than analysts had expected.

Citing the tough economy and the beating that Symantec's stock has taken over the past year, the security and storage software vendor took a non-cash write-down for its third quarter, ended Jan. 2, leaving it with a loss of US$6.81 billion for the quarter. "Given that the markets were off as much as they were, we went in mid-November and did a goodwill impairment analysis," said Enrique Salem, the company's chief operating officer, who is set to replace current CEO John Thompson in April.

Excluding charges such as the goodwill write-down, the company blew past expectations, posting earnings of $350 million, or $0.42 per share. Analysts had been expecting earnings of $0.32 per share, according to a survey by Thomson Financial.

Revenue was down compared to last year's third quarter in most segments of the world, except the U.S., Latin America and Canada. There, sales were spurred by deals with Continental Airlines, Yamaha Corporation of America and Canadian Tire, and revenue rose 7 percent. Worldwide, the company's storage and server management group saw revenue rise just 1 percent, and the consumer group's revenue rose just 2 percent. The company's security and compliance products saw revenue drop 5 percent.

Symantec cut costs in November by laying off staff throughout the company. It hasn't said how many positions it terminated, but the cuts amounted to 4.5 percent of salary costs. On Wednesday, Salem didn't rule out the possibility of future cuts. "We're going to work hard to continue to manage our expenses, and at this point I'm pleased with the performance of the company," he said, adding, "I can't forecast what's going to happen in the economy."

Salem also declined to forecast who might be Barack Obama's next pick for U.S. Secretary of Commerce, a job that is reportedly going to Salem's boss, John Thompson. News reports this week have said Thompson is currently being vetted for the post and is considered the new administration's top pick.

Thompson, a contributor to Obama's campaign, told the IDG News Service last November that he would consider such a position. "Clearly if I were to get a call from the president-elect, it would be not only stupid, but unpatriotic to not take the call and consider anything that he might want to chat with me about," he said at the time.

Salem said Thompson would make a great choice. "I think John is a terrific leader and if he could be a part of helping our country do well, I think he would serve well and would do a good job."

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags financial crisissymantec

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?