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Veritas Eyes Record Revenue

Veritas Software (VRTS) CEO Gary Bloom informally raised the company's guidance Monday, saying he is "reasonably confident" that fourth-quarter revenue will top the $500 million mark for the first time in Veritas' history.

"We haven't changed guidance," Bloom said during a presentation at the Lehman Brothers investment conference in New York. "But if a few things fall the way we want and the stars align a little bit," Veritas will hit $500 million in the December quarter.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Veritas sells software that helps manage network storage.

The company's formal guidance projects revenue of $480 million to $490 million, while analysts polled by Thomson First Call expect revenue of $489.7 million. If Bloom is correct, the December quarter will be the second in a row that the company set an all-time record for quarterly revenue.

Bloom noted, however, that extra revenue in the fourth quarter also means a larger-than-expected drop in the seasonally slower first quarter. But he left guidance for earnings in the December quarter unchanged, ranging from 21 cents to 23 cents a share, a penny below Wall Street's expectations.

Helping to drive the quarter, Bloom said, are strong sales of products that help businesses comply with new regulatory demands , including Sarbanes-Oxley and others.

Bloom's upbeat presentation, delivered an hour before the closing bell, didn't have a lasting impression on investors. After trading as high as $37.39 early on, Veritas shares ended down 54 cents, or 1.5%, to $35.75 on Monday. The stock was down another 12 cents to $35.63 after hours.

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