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Symantec stumbles amid customer deferrals, ERP installation

Symantec's fiscal third and fourth quarter results will fall short of expectations because of a combination of factors: --Weak performance in the company's data center management business, notable the company acquired when it bought Veritas;--Higher deferrals of enterprise maintenance contracts;--And higher costs from "the implementation of our new ERP system.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on

Symantec's fiscal third and fourth quarter results will fall short of expectations because of a combination of factors:

--Weak performance in the company's data center management business, notable the company acquired when it bought Veritas;

--Higher deferrals of enterprise maintenance contracts;

--And higher costs from "the implementation of our new ERP system."

The company cut its earnings estimate to 10 to 11 cents a share from 14 to 15 cents a share and its revenue forecast to $1.29 billion to $1.31 billion from $1.31 billion from $1.15 billion. Excluding items, the company lowered its earnings estimate to 24 to 25 cents a share from 29 to 30 cents, and its revenue projection to $1.30 billion to $1.32 billion from $1.32 billion to $1.35 billion. For fiscal fourth-quarter, the company expects adjusted earnings of 18 to 20 cents a share, below Thomson Financial estimates of 32 cents.

This leaves a few interesting questions unresolved:

--What was the cause of the deferrals? Slower spending in the enterprise?

--Are things just going to get worse amid a brewing antivirus price war?

--What happened with the ERP implementation and who was the vendor and consultants involved?

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