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Veritas hurdles 4Q estimates, sets 3-for-2 split

Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS) easily surpassed analysts' estimates in its fourth quarter Thursday, raking in $50.7 million, or 18 cents a share, on record sales of $226.2 million. It also announced a 3-for-2 stock split.

First Call consensus expected the developer of storage management software to earn 15 cents a share.

Veritas shares closed up 5/8 to 157 3/4 ahead of the earnings report.

The $226.2 million in sales represents an 80 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it earned $23.9 million, or 9 cents a share, on sales of $126 million.

For the year, Veritas pocketed $146.7 million, or 52 cents a share, on sales of $700 million compared to a profit of $69.8 million, or 26 cents a share, on sales of $410 million in fiscal 1998.

"Our fourth-quarter results demonstrate our success in leveraging new, high-growth markets, such as Internet businesses," said CEO Mark Leslie in a prepared release. "The net result is a dynamic organization equipped to efficiently deliver the advanced solutions today's customers with mission-critical requirements demand.''

Last quarter, Veritas easily topped analysts' estimates, earning $38.9 million, or 21 cents a share, on sales of $183.4 million

The 3-for-2 stock split marks the company's third split in the past six months. It split 3-for-2 in November and 2-for-1 in July.

Shareholders of record on Feb. 18 will receive one additional share for every two shares of common stock held on the record date on March 3. Following the split, Veritas will have roughly 392.3 million shares outstanding.

Its shares rolled to a 52-week high of 181 1/2 earlier this month. The 52-week low was 20 5/16 in April.

First Call consensus expects it to earn 65 cents a share in fiscal 2000.