Symantec Announces Record Fourth Quarter - Earnings Per Share Grow 167 Percent
Sixth consecutive quarter of record profit and revenue driven by increased revenue from base business, new products and international operations
Cupertino, Calif --April 23, 1998-- Symantec Corporation (Nasdaq: SYMC) today announced its sixth consecutive quarter of record revenue and profit for the fourth fiscal quarter ended April 3, 1998. Net revenue was $156.1 million, a 20 percent increase over the same quarter in 1997 and a five-percent sequential increase. Earnings per share increased by 167 percent to 40 cents, compared to 15 cents for the fourth quarter in 1997. Days Sales Outstanding for the quarter were 38 days compared to 39 days in the prior quarter. Symantec also reported the unaudited results of fiscal 1998. Net revenue amounted to $578.4 million. Total net earnings were $85.1 million, or $1.42 per share.
"Growth in our base business, driven by increased international revenues and the success of new products, has led to this sixth consecutive quarter of record revenue and profit," said Gordon Eubanks, President and CEO of Symantec Corporation. "Our relationship with the channel remains strong and we have won many major new clients in the corporate sector."
Symantec is the worldwide leader in utility software for business and personal computing. Revenue from core products increased significantly during the fourth quarter. Compared to the same period in 1997, revenue from ACT! increased by 38 percent and 20 percent respectively.
New products launched in the third quarter contributed to the record fourth quarter. Norton Crashguard Deluxe both appeared in the PC Data Top Ten list of Windows Business Software in February and March. Along with Norton AntiVirus Standard and Deluxe editions, and Norton Utilities, Symantec products account for five of the top ten – an unprecedented achievement.
The strong performance in international markets was the third contributor to the fourth quarter's record growth. Revenue from Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) grew 50 percent over the same quarter in 1997. Revenue from Latin America and Asia Pacific grew 131 percent and 29 percent respectively for the same period.
In the U.S. market, Symantec continued to grow its share of the corporate market and secured a number of significant new customers. These included: tax planning firm H&R Block which purchased a license to install Norton AntiVirus, pcANYWHERE and Norton Utilities to protect 100,000 computers; Florida Power and Light Corporation licensed 8,700 units of Norton AntiVirus for Lotus Notes; and GMAC, the financial division of GM, which purchased Norton AntiVirus for 9,000 computers.
Symantec expects to maintain its 20 percent annual revenue growth momentum – a target it set 18 months ago and has achieved with six successive record revenue and profit quarters.
This quarter Symantec expects to introduce new products in the mobile sector. The first of these - Norton Mobile Essentials - removes configuration and connectivity frustrations for mobile computer users who rely on email, Internet, fax and other forms of PC based communication. A beta version of the product was made available to customers for Internet download on April 13. In a week, more than a thousand downloads were completed. The full product is expected to ship in May.
Norton Mobile Essentials and other products Symantec expects to launch this quarter are aimed at the rapidly expanding mobile market. According to research conducted by Roper Starch in 1997, nearly 80 percent of business people work significantly longer hours when travelling than they do when in the office. IDC research shows that the world market for portable computers will increase by 77 percent to 26.7 million units by 2001 and the US market will grow 84 percent to 11.3 million units.
Product Awards and Accolades
Symantec products continued to be recognized by the media for their innovation during the fourth quarter:
Forward looking statement
- Norton AntiVirus won PC Magazine's Editors' Choice award for the third consecutive year and PC World's respected "1998 Best Buy".
- Norton AntiVirus 4.0 for Windows NT Servers was awarded Internet Computing's 1998 "Net Best" award.
- Norton AntiVirus for Lotus Notes won Network Computing's rare "Editor Refuses to Give it Back" award.
- Visual Café for Java won InfoWorld's 1997 product of the year award and NewMedia Magazine's 1998 Hyper Award for best Java programming environment.
- Norton Utilities 3.0 earned Computerworld's IT Leader's Choice Award for best PC/LAN utility and was placed on Windows Magazine's coveted WinList.
- PC/Computing named Norton Utilities, Norton AntiVirus and WinFax PRO to the magazine's "A-List".
- Norton Utilities 2.0 was selected as a "Best Buy" in the March/April 1998 issue and Personal Computer Buying Guide of Consumers Digest.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. There are certain important factors that could cause Symantec's future development efforts to differ materially from those anticipated by some of the statements made above. Among these are the anticipation of the growth of certain market segments, the positioning of Symantec's products in those segments, the competitive environment in the software industry, dependence on other products, changes to operating systems and product strategy by vendors of operating systems, and the importance of new Symantec products. Additional information concerning those and other factors is contained in the "Risk Factors" section of the company's annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 28,1997 and in the company's quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the third fiscal quarter ended January 2, 1998.
Symantec Corporation helps make users productive and keep their computers safe and reliable anywhere and anytime. Symantec offers a broad range of solutions and is acclaimed as a leader in both customer satisfaction and product brand recognition. The company is focused on addressing customer needs in three main application areas: the Norton product line of anti-virus and PC-assistance products; the pcANYWHERE, WinFax and ACT! product lines that cater to remote user productivity; and the Cafe product lines in Internet development tools.
Founded in 1982, the company's global operations span North America, Europe, Japan and several fast growing markets throughout Asia Pacific and Latin America. Traded on Nasdaq under the symbol SYMC, Symantec Corporation is based in Cupertino, California and employs more than 2,000 people. Information on the company and its products can be obtained by calling (800) 441-7234 toll free, (541) 334-6054 or accessed on the World Wide Web at http://www.symantec.com.
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