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Wall St Worried About Storage

Analysts lower estimates across storage sector in wake of Sept 11

Its been a tough week for the storage sector. Most firms were whipped by the market following the events of September 11, only to be downgraded by Wall Street analysts who believe the negative impact of the attacks will continue well into the third quarter.

Sources at Wit Soundview say that business has ground to a near halt for EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) since September 11, and they believe that it is still not time to buy the stock.

Goldman Sachs & Co. analyst Laura Conigliaro cut her 2001 estimate for EMC from $0.22 to $0.20 per share and lowered her 2002 forecast from $0.27 to $0.22 a share.

Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS), one of the strongest and most resilient stocks to date in this sector, felt the pinch from SG Cowen Securities. In a note to investors, Cowen said the firm has lowered its estimates on the stock to reflect “softening demand outlook following the terrorist attacks.” It has cut 2001 and 2002 EPS estimates to $0.61 and $0.65 from $0.71 and $0.85, respectively.

Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. jumped on the bandwagon mid-week and lowered its earnings estimates for Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP).

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