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Symantec's 'best products' produce strong profits

CEO bullish as Symantec posts big results

Security software giant Symantec yesterday reported year end revenue ahead of expectations. In a statement, Symantec CEO John Thompson called the company's current offerings "the strongest product portfolio we've had in years."

The Norton Antivirus vendor also revealed that more than half of its revenue now comes from outside the US, as it ended its fiscal year on a high note.

Symantec posted earnings of $309m, or $0.36 per share, for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008, which ended March 28. That was up 50 percent from last year's results and better than analyst expectations. In a poll of 27 estimates by Thomson Financial, financial analysts forecast earnings to be $0.34 per share, on average.

Analysts expected revenue of $1.53bn; Symantec reported $1.54bn.

After struggling to manage its 2005 acquisition of storage giant Veritas software, Symantec performed well during its 2008 fiscal year. A weakening US currency and strong growth outside of the US have helped the company's bottom line.

Symantec said that 53 percent of its revenue now comes from outside of the US, where the company saw a 15 percent growth rate, year-over-year. Asia is the fastest-growing region, with revenue growing at 19 percent. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the growth rate was 17 percent.

The company didn't do as well in the US, Latin America and Canada, where revenue was up 10 percent over the same period.

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