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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags symantecfinancial crisis

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

Mobile

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?