Symantec Lagging Sourcefire, Other Security Firms

Security software maker Symantec (SYMC) is expected to post its third straight quarter of decelerating sales growth late Wednesday when it reports fiscal fourth-quarter results.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect Symantec to earn 38 cents a share, unchanged from the year-ago period, on sales of $1.68 billion, up 0.6%. Sales growth has been slowing for the Mountain View, Calif.-based security software giant. It posted 15% sales growth in the June 2011 quarter, 14% growth in the September quarter and 7% growth in the December quarter.

Symantec’s current quarter doesn’t look any better. For the June quarter, analysts are looking for Symantec to earn 39 cents a share, down 2.5%, on sales of $1.66 billion, up 0.6%.

Symantec shares were up a fraction, near 16.60, in early trading Tuesday but are down nearly 12% in the past month.

Symantec isn’t sharing the same good fortune as a number of its peers in IBD’s computer security software group. The group currently ranks No. 39 out of 197 groups tracked. Top performers in the group include Sourcefire (FIRE), Netquin Mobile (NQ) and Fortinet (FTNT).

Sourcefire shares were up 12% in early trading Tuesday, an all-time high, after the Columbia, Md.-based company posted better-than-expected Q1 results late Monday. Sourcefire said its earnings rose 175% to 11 cents a share, while sales jumped 50% to $46.3 million.

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Article source: http://news.investors.com/article/609813/201205011249/symantec-trails-other-security-firms-in-sales-growth.htm

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