Symantec has posted its fourth-quarter and fiscal year results for the year ending 30 March, confirming the previously forecasted lower-revenue figures for the quarter — but an overall 9 per cent increase in revenue for the year.
According to Symantec executive vice president and chief financial officer James Beer, the company has seen a 30 per cent increase year on year in enterprise subscriptions, largely thanks to the company's purchase of VeriSign's security division. While Beer expects this growth to normalise over time, Symantec president and chief executive officer Enrique Salem clarified that the additional subscriptions represent new opportunities for Symantec, so they're not cannibalising existing subscriptions or revenue from similar products that are also offered by the company .
However, the increase in subscriptions was offset in part by the company's 26 per cent year-on-year decline in licence sales, which contributed to the company's lower-than-desired US$1.68 billion quarterly revenue figure, which was flat compared to the corresponding period in the previous year. Technology Business Research senior analyst Allan Krans said that this could partly be attributed to increased competition from systems-management vendors, such as IBM and EMC, and the effect of the industry producing more mature products in the traditional data-management market than in the relatively newer cloud and virtualisation market.
But Krans said that another factor contributing to the quarterly figure was Symantec's decision to refocus on a different market.
Salem said that the company had used the fourth quarter to prepare itself to target the cloud and mobile markets.
Part of the company's attack strategy was its purchase of two mobile device-management companies in response to the growing trend of customers bringing their own devices to work (BYOD). These two companies are Nukona, which allows customers to manage and secure applications on employee devices, and Odyssey Software, which allows the devices to be managed from multiple platforms.
Krans agreed with Symantec that the cloud and mobile markets are showing potential, and that part of the negative results for Symantec were due to the temporary effects of the security company's transition to tackle these markets.
In order to strengthen the company, Krans said it is likely that Symantec will focus on building its relationships with its partners in the cloud and virtualisation space. Indeed, during the earnings call, Symantec's Salem highlighted the work that his company has already done with VMware, which the company intends to continue. The company also has plans for Red Hat, betting that more organisations will perform datacentre modernisations, which would drive greater profits through these partnerships.
The company expects its revenue for the next quarter to be similar to the previous year's revenue of US$1.653 billion.