Symantec Turnaround Remains in the Offing

  • Tweet  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Facebook  
  • Google plus  
  • Send to Kindle
  • Send to  

In the first quarterly report since ousting its CEO, Symantec posted 7 percent decline in earnings and issued a forecast for sluggish growth. Positive signs exist, but recovery is still a long-term proposition.

Symantec issued a mixed quarterly earnings report last week, as revenues declined, profits increased and the short-term forecast was for much of the same. The underlying conclusion: recovery and turnaround, despite the issuance of a new strategy, is a long ways off.

Related articles

The world’s largest security software company posted $1.6 billion in revenue for its fourth quarter (January through March), down 7 percent over the prior year’s period. Overall annual revenue fell 3 percent to $6.7 billion, as sales of antivirus software continue to struggle and backup product sales remain under pressure.

Revenues declined, but annual profits were up 19 percent to $898 million, compared to $755 million for fiscal year 2013. Most of the profit improvement came from cost cutting and operational efficiencies initiated under former CEO Steve Bennett.

This is the first earnings report issued since Bennett was ousted in March. The numbers aren’t great, but they do show signs of improvement. Symantec is pivoting toward a new strategy that focuses less on antivirus and more on treat detection and containment. And it’s seeing demand for security products increase, giving it an optimistic forecast for the next quarter that exceeds analyst expectations. However, real revenue will still come in below 2013 figures.

“Our fourth quarter results, led by better performance from our sales teams and cost reductions, demonstrate the underlying health of our business,” Symantec interim CEO Michael Brown said in a statement. “In the new leadership team’s first 40 days, we’ve taken important steps to accelerate the pace of our transformation. There are substantial opportunities for us to improve our growth profile, maximize profitability and create value, and I’m confident we have the right team and plans in place to achieve our objectives.”

While Symantec is showing signs of recovery, if not stabilization, it faces myriad challenges ahead. The company gave no update on the search for a permanent CEO, only that it’s retained a search firm. And the security and partner community aren’t sold on the new strategy of advanced threat detection, as it’s a space Symantec has little experience and competitors such as FireEye and Palo Alto Networks are already greatly ahead.

Perhaps the most troubling aspect of Symantec’s efforts to recover from two-years of lackluster performance is the recently proclamation by one of its executives that antivirus is no longer a moneymaker and is an ineffective technology. While such notions are not original, Symantec may have prematurely devalued the primary source of its sales and revenue.

Symantec isn’t waiting for new products to stimulate its channel into higher performance. Last week, channel chief John Eldh unveiled a series of initiatives, including technology competencies and profitability enhancements, designed to influence and foster higher channel selling activity.

  • Tweet  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Facebook  
  • Google plus  
  • Send to Kindle
  • Send to  
More on Backup/Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery
Plan

UK firm APSU planning growth drive in U.S.

IBM partner looking to expand in U.S. after cash injection

cloud

GFI Reorgs into Two Divisions, One for MSPs

Under new structure, GFI Software will operate two business – LogicNow for its managed services products and GFI developing private cloud products. The move is designed to enable the company to focus on product and business development, as well as growth.

Visitor comments
Add comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
In-depth
CCTV security

Post Sony hack, security appliance market remains red-hot

Growing security concerns continue to boost appliance sales

US soldiers running on a desert road during a military operation

Fight the good fight: VA enlists IBM's Watson for PTSD battle

Solution will focus on dealing with the large number of vets suffering from PTSD

davemaffei-vpofchannel-carbonite-2014

Vendor Q&A Series: Dave Maffei, Carbonite

The latest exec to sit in the Channelnomics hotseat is Carbonite's VP of global channel sales

Christmas Present

Happy holidays from Google: higher incentives in bid to increase channel business

Looking to displace Microsoft’s vaunted Office apps, Google is increasing incentives to solution providers that resell its Google Apps for Work products