Thursday, October 28, 2010

US corporate earnings: Symantec, Visa, Flextronics

Symantec profit beats Street view, shares rise ??

BOSTON, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Software maker Symantec Corp reported a profit above Wall Street forecasts on Wednesday, helped by newly acquired businesses, and its shares rose 6 percent after hours.

Chief Executive Enrique Salem attributed the performance to better-than-expected results from three recently acquired security companies -- VeriSign, PGP and Guardian Edge.

"The acquisitions are exceeding our expectations. They are strong generators of cash," Salem said in an interview.

He said that Symantec's backup and archiving software and its Web-based services were also generating strong profits.

"They have a good business. They are in the right markets," said FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives.

Symantec said excluding items its profit was 34 cents per share in the second quarter ended Oct. 1, beating analysts' average forecast of 28 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Quarterly revenue rose 2 percent from a year earlier to $1.48 billion, exceeding analysts' average forecast of $1.46 billion.

Sales of consumer software rose 3 percent from a year earlier, while sales of backup and storage products declined 1 percent. Sales of security software to businesses rose 5 percent.

"They've digested a lot of acquisitions. Now it's about walking the walk," Ives said. "Acquisitions bearing fruit is key to this story."

Symantec forecast profit, excluding items, of 32 cents to 33 cents per share in the third quarter ending Dec. 31, compared with analysts' average forecast of 33 cents.

It also forecast that third-quarter revenue would rise 2 percent to 3 percent from a year earlier to between $1.57 billion and $1.59 billion, compared with analysts' average forecast of $1.56 billion.


Visa profit rises 51 pct, but shares fall NEW YORK, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Visa Inc reported an increase in quarterly profit of more than 50 percent, but the company's shares fell because of regulatory concerns and its failure to outperform Wall Street estimates as much as investors had come to expect.

The company's shares fell 1.8 percent in after-market trading.

"It was maybe not the blowout quarter some investors were expecting," said Signal Hill analyst Mayank Tandon. "I think it's understandable that we're seeing some profit-taking, given that the results were good but not great."

The company also authorized a $1 billion share repurchase and said it expected net revenue to grow 11 percent to 15 percent in its coming fiscal 2011 year.

Chief Executive Joseph Saunders said in an statement that Visa plans to continue investing to expand its business, despite a "very challenging business environment."

Visa's efforts to reassure investors about its long-term outlook did not completely quiet fears about increased regulatory scrutiny.

Visa and rival MasterCard Inc do not lend at all and were relatively insulated from the massive credit losses affecting banks during the financial crisis. But now they are facing increasing U.S. regulatory scrutiny over their processing businesses.

The new U.S. Dodd-Frank financial reform law will restrict the processing fees that Visa and rival MasterCard Inc earn from debit card transactions. This month, both companies also settled a Justice Department antitrust lawsuit over their processing rules.

"There's been so much fear that has been built into Visa and MasterCard in general ... I think the concerns over Visa and the industry were overblown by investors," said Jim Tierney, the chief investment officer of W.P. Stewart, which owns shares of both networks.

Visa, the world's largest credit and debit card processing network, reported net income of $774 million, or $1.06 per share, on Wednesday for its fiscal fourth quarter, ended Sept. 30. That compared with $514 million, or 69 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected Visa to report earnings of 94 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company, which processes transactions done with credit and debit cards bearing the Visa name, makes money every time someone buys something with one of the cards. Its revenues have grown this year as U.S. consumers have become more willing to spend again.


Flextronics profit tops Street forecast, shares up LOS ANGELES, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Flextronics International Ltd posted better-than-expected profit on strong sales of its consumer electronics gear, and forecast sales and earnings above Wall Street estimates for the current quarter, sending its shares sharply higher.

Contract manufacturer Flextronics, which makes equipment and devices for Microsoft Corp, Cisco Systems Inc, Hewlett-Packard Co and others, forecast current-quarter sales in the range of $7.5 billion to $7.7 billion and earnings excluding some items of 23 cents to 25 cents per share.

Those were both above analysts' average expectations of revenue of $7.44 billion and earnings of 22 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

In the quarter that ended on Oct. 1, Flextronics appears to have benefited as shortages of key components "cleared up," said Alex Blanton, an analyst for Ingalls & Snyder, who owns shares in Flextronics.

The Singapore-based manufacturer reported net income of $144.4 million, or 18 cents per share, for the second quarter that ended on Oct. 1, compared with net income of $19.7 million, or 2 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

Excluding some items, it earned 23 cents per share. Analysts on average were expecting 20 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales rose 27 percent to $7.4 billion, the company said. Analysts, on average, had expected $7 billion.

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