Earnings Ride the Security Wave

The company on Wednesday blew past consensus estimates for its year 2001 fiscal fourth quarter. Corp. on Wednesday blew past consensus estimates for its year 2001 fiscal fourth quarter.

The Sunnyvale, Calif., provider of security and other products and services for personal computer users and small businesses announced pro forma earnings (excluding non-cash charges related to stock-based compensation and the amortization of intangibles) of nine cents per share on net income of $4.2 million.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call were expecting earnings of five cents per share.

In the previous quarter of 2001 reported pro forma earnings of six cents per share, or three cents per share under generally accepted accounting principles. It was the first positive earnings per share for the company since the second quarter of 1998.

Total revenue for the fourth quarter was $18.6 million, up from $16.2 million in the third quarter.

Benefiting from growing concerns about online security, has seen its share price rise from a 52-week low of $4.75 in March of 2001 to $36.40, and its revenue rise from $46.9 million in fiscal year 2000 to $62 million in fiscal year 2001.

Eighty nine percent of McAfee.coms revenue in the fourth quarter was derived from subscriptions to McAfees online services and software licenses, said the companys Chief Financial Officer, Evan Collins, in a conference call with analysts Wednesday. Paid subscribers were 1,345,000, up from 1,220,000 last quarter, an increase of approximately 125,000.

"This can be attributed in many ways to the awareness generated around security because of major virus outbreaks in the third quarter of last year," said Srivats Sampath, CEO and president of

Sampath also noted McAfees success in attracting enterprise customers. " for business, our managed security offering for small to medium sized businesses, launched in April, did very well in this quarter," he said. "I am very happy to note that in the third full quarter of this service going live, we acquired over 1,400 new small-to-medium-sized business customers, up from 1,200 the previous quarter."

Collins said he expects first quarter revenues for 2002 to match consensus estimates of $19.1 million, and that earnings per share will hit six cents on a pro forma basis, one cent better than consensus estimates.