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Tech Industry

Software maker Verity tops estimates

The maker of Internet software that retrieves information surprises Wall Street when it tops analysts' estimates by 3 cents a share in its second quarter.

    Verity, a maker of Internet software that retrieves and organizes information, surprised Wall Street after the bell Wednesday when it topped analysts' estimates by 3 cents a share in its second quarter and raised its sales and earnings estimates for fiscal 2001.

    In the quarter, Verity posted a profit of $8.2 million, or 23 cents a share, on sales of $34.5 million.

    Analysts polled by First Call/Thomson Financial expected the company to earn 20 cents a share in the quarter.

    Its shares closed down 69 cents to $18.63 ahead of the earnings report before moving up to $20.43 in after-hours trading.

    The $34.5 million in sales represents a 107 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter, when it pocketed $1.1 million, or 3 cents a share, on sales of $16.7 million.

    Company executives raised their fiscal 2001 earnings estimate to between 89 cents and 94 cents a share. Verity also boosted its sales estimate to between $144.4 million and $146.6 million, up 50 percent to 53 percent from the $96.1 million it recorded in fiscal 2000.

    Analysts were expecting a profit of 84 cents a share in the fiscal year.

    "Verity's second-quarter performance produced another quarter of excellent results," CEO Gary Sbona said in a release. "Our business remains strong and on track, and our management metrics are performing to our operating plan."

    Last quarter, Verity topped analysts' estimates when it pocketed $7.2 million, or 20 cents a share, on sales of $31.3 million.

    Verity shares moved up to a 52-week high of $63.75 in March before falling to a low of $13.13 earlier this month.

    All five analysts following the stock maintained either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.