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Symantec Slips on Storage

A year and a half after buying Veritas, Symantec continues to struggle with its storage software business.

In a statement this week, Symantec lowered guidance slightly for the latest quarter, which will be reported on January 24, to a range between $1.30 billion and $1.32 billion and also lowered its estimates for the year by about three percent to a range between $5.14 billion and $5.16 billion. (See Symantec Cuts Earnings Forecast.)

Execs blamed the company's disappointing performance last quarter primarily on poor sales of its Data Center Management products -- even though CEO John Thompson says a lot of lost revenue was deferred to future quarters. The products in question consist mostly of Veritas backup and recovery, storage and server management, and application monitoring products.

The Veritas complaint is now an all-too-familiar one. Symantec has had a tough time living up to its forecasts since its $13.5 billion Veritas acquisition closed in July of 2005. (See Symantec & Veritas: It's a Deal, Symantec Slips in Europe, and An Off Quarter for Symantec.)

But Wall Street analysts say the latest troubles are specific to Symantec, rather than the storage industry. The fourth quarter is usually good for storage sales, and the large systems vendors are expected to announce strong results over the next few weeks. (See Analysts See Mostly Bright Earnings.)

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