RSA cracks profitability problem in Q1

Security and encryption systems vendor RSA Security Inc. has posted a net profit of US$1.7 million on revenue of $61.3 million for the first quarter of its fiscal year 2003, the company said in a statement Thursday.

The profit, equivalent to $0.03 per share, reverses a string of quarterly losses which had seen the company lose $96.8 million ($1.71 per share) in fiscal year 2002 and $2.5 million ($0.04 per share) in 2001.

Revenue for the first quarter was 10 percent up on the $55.5 million recorded in the first quarter of last year. But the company remains cautious about the business environment.

Chief Financial Officer Jeff Glidden said the company believed that IT spending budgets remain constrained, and that business is still unpredictable due to the generally soft economy and continuing uncertainty relating to the Iraq war.

RSA, of Bedford, Massachusetts, expects revenue for the second quarter to fall in the range of $58 million to $63 million, with net profit between breakeven and $0.04 per share, according to the statement.

RSA's products include encryption technologies, user authentication and Web access management, and software for securing electronic business applications.

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