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SYMANTEC CORP. $14.59 (Nasdaq symbol SYMC; SI Rating: Average) (1-408-517-8000; www.symantec.com; Shares outstanding: 798.9 million; Market cap: $11.7 billion; No dividends paid) has signed a multi-year extension of its agreement with Hewlett-Packard to distribute its Norton Internet Security software. Norton Internet Security is a set of programs that fight hackers, viruses and other online threats.
Under the deal, Hewlett-Packard will continue to preinstall a 60-day free trial subscription to Norton Internet Security on all of its personal computers, laptops and netbooks. Users can then buy a subscription to Norton Internet Security for $54.99 a year.
Deals like this are very important for software sellers like Symantec. That’s because many consumers like the convenience of buying preinstalled programs right from their computers.
Symantec is still a buy.
INTERNATIONAL ROAD DYNAMICS $0.75 (Toronto symbol IRD; SI Rating: Speculative) (306-653-6600; www.ird.ca; Shares outstanding: 14 million; Market cap: $10.5 million; No dividends paid) continues to win new contracts. For example, in the first half of 2010, it won $7.3 million of new deals with customers in Hawaii, New Brunswick, Alaska, Washington and California. That’s on top of a $1.2-million, three-year service-and-maintenance contract in Hawaii.
In the three months ended May 31, 2010, International Road’s revenue rose 2.4%, to $11.9 million from $11.6 million a year earlier. The company earned $0.02 a share, up from $0.01 a share a year ago.
International Road Dynamics is still a buy.
ADOBE SYSTEMS INC. $27.67 (Nasdaq symbol ADBE; SI Rating: Average) (408-536-6000; www.adobe.com; Shares outstanding: 525.2 million; Market cap: $14.5 billion) earned $234.2 million in its second quarter, which ended June 4, 2010. That’s up 26.6% from $185.0 million a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, earnings per share rose 25.7%, to $0.44 from $0.35, on more shares outstanding.
Revenue rose 33.8%, to a record $943.0 million from $704.7 million. The gain resulted from the April 2010 launch of Adobe’s Creative Suite 5 software.
Despite the improved results, Adobe’s dispute with Apple Inc. (Nasdaq symbol AAPL) is weighing on the stock. Apple is not including Adobe’s Flash software in its iPad, iPhone and iPod mobile devices. Instead, Apple is promoting what it sees as a superior rival format called HTML5. It says Flash is slow and uses too much power in mobile devices. Investors fear that rising demand for Apple’s products will prompt computer programmers to move away from Adobe’s software.
Adobe is still a hold.
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