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Symantec's profits up in calm third quarter

Growth in security and compliance keeps ship steady

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CEO Enrique Salem stands crisp and smart on the poop deck of the good ship Symantec, looking back at a straight course and ahead to more growth. It's a pretty unexciting third quarter story really.

Third quarter revenues for the security, storage and server company were $1.75bn – 7 per cent up on a yearly comparison. Profits were $240m, up loads from the $132m recorded a year ago, an increase of 82 per cent actually, which must have made the generally imperturbable Salem feel like whooping with joy.

Symantec said: "Consumer segment revenue represented 31 per cent of total revenue and increased 5 per cent year-over-year on an actual and currency-adjusted basis.

"The Security and Compliance segment revenue represented 30 per cent of total revenue and increased 17 per cent year-over-year on an actual and currency-adjusted basis.

"The Storage and Server Management segment revenue represented 36 per cent of total revenue and increased 3 per cent year-over-year on an actual and currency-adjusted basis.

Services segment revenue represented 3 per cent of total revenue and decreased 13 per cent year-over-year ... as expected due to the company's move to a partner-led consulting model."

Revenues for the fourth quarter are expected to be between $1.72bn and $1.73bn, increasing 2.8 to 3.4 per cent on an annual basis. Salem is probably encouraging his storage and server business execs to get that growth rate up to consumer and security and compliance segment levels. Hmm, what can they do? Buy CommVault? Get into big data more? Provide cloud storage gateway software to stop Amazon and others stealing the data protection business from underneath their noses?

Symantec's navigators are plotting the course ahead to find good winds, safe seas and fine anchorages. The rise in governmental and corporate hacks is good news for the security software maker and indicates strong and steady growth ahead. ®

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