Symantec ( SYMC) and Veritas Software ( VRTS), troubled by the hit to Symantec shares that has greeted their merger, are taking a message of reassurance on the road. Is anyone listening? At an investor briefing Wednesday, Symantec CEO John Thompson and Veritas CEO Gary Bloom repeatedly highlighted the growth potential of their combined companies. But shares of Symantec shed as much as 3.9% on Wednesday before rebounding slightly to close down 37 cents, or 1.5%, at $25.04. (Symantec will hold and Webcast a second investor meeting on the deal Friday at 7:30 a.m. EST.) Since rumors of the all-stock deal first began circulating in December, shares of Cupertino, Calif.-based Symantec have plummeted a whopping $9, or 26%, from their 52-week high of $34.05, reached earlier in the month. That selloff came in stark contrast to the 10% lift Oracle ( ORCL) enjoyed when it announced a day before the Symantec-Veritas deal became public that it had finally succeeded in its 18-month quest for rival PeopleSoft ( PSFT). The two mega-software deals are admittedly very different, but those differences also can help explain the widely divergent market reaction to each one.