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Veritas Has Double Vision

Beats the Street, doubling year-over-year profit. But will EMC slow Veritas down in 2004?

After doubling earnings over the previous year's third quarter, Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS) raised expectations for its fourth quarter as it faces a looming battle with EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) to keep its leadership position in the backup software market.

Veritas beat its own and Wall Street's expectations by recording record earnings for the second consecutive quarter. Net income in the third quarter was $77.6 million, or 18 cents per share, more than double the $36.2 million, or 9 cents per share, it earned in the year-ago quarter. Revenue was $451 million, up 23 percent from $366 million in the previous year for the Mountain View, Calif., company.

Veritas pumped up its fourth-quarter forecast, predicting revenues of between $480 million and $490 million -- well above the $468 million analysts were projecting.

Veritas CEO Gary Bloom certainly doesn't appear concerned about EMC's recent acquisitions of Legato and Documentum. By acquiring Legato's backup-and-restore and Documentum's content-management software, EMC has the key pieces for its strategy to dominate the information lifecycle management (ILM) market (see EMC Closes Legato Acquisition and EMC Cops Documentum).

On a conference call with analysts yesterday, Bloom said Veritas has already been making gains against Legato, and that he doesn't consider Documentum a direct competitor.

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