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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Symantec's Lament (SYMC)(MSFT)(MFE)

Symantec, and its main competitor McAfee, are complaining that the new Microsoft Visto operating system will cause consumers to use the software giant's security application instead of their software offerings. Both of the smaller software makers have been in talks with the European Union, where Microsoft already has antitrust problems, and the Justice Department.

Wall St. is not buying the whining at Symantec. The company's stock rose 36% last quarter to $21.28. The company's primary product, Norton, is already the premier brand in consumer security software and has the largest market share. Symantec's revenue has been rising rapidly for the last three fiscal years and in the year ending March 31, 2006 revenue rose to over $4.1 billion compared to just undre $2.6 billion the previous year. In the June quarter, the company had revenue of $1.259 billion and operating income of $134 million. The company's strategy was recently praised in Barron's and Wall St. has every reason to be thrilled with the company's performance.

Symantec doth protest too much, methinks.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at He does not own securities in companies that he writes about.

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