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Nice Systems to buy Causata after second-quarter profit rise

By Allyn Fisher-Ilan

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel-based software provider Nice Systems agreed to buy U.S. data firm Causata and reported a rise in profit, driven by big gains in products that analyze data to help companies comply with regulations and prevent fraud.

The purchase will be slightly dilutive to third-quarter EPS but have no impact on fourth-quarter and full year 2013 earnings. Details were not disclosed.

Causata's technology tracks Internet activity in a way that can enhance customer relationship building at, for example, call centers, according to the company's web site.

Nice chief financial officer Dafna Gruber declined to provide further details about the deal, which one analyst described as small.

Nice said it earned 61 cents a share in the second-quarter excluding one-time items, up from 57 cents a year earlier. Revenue rose four percent to $225.2 million.

The company had predicted $220-$230 million for revenue and fully diluted earnings per share of 58 to 64 cents.

Nice has benefited from demand for companies seeking tools to delve into large amounts of data, looking to spot fraud and fend off security threats.

It also makes sure call centers work efficiently, while its systems aid in surveillance for security forces trying to protect buildings and transport networks against attack.

"We have had a very good quarter and are anticipating a strong finish for the year," Gruber said, citing customer demand for its products to analyze big data.

"Nearly 50 percent of our new business is coming from this type of application, and we see strong demand in that area," Gruber said.

The company forecast third-quarter revenue of $225-$240 million, with diluted EPS ex-items in the range of 56 to 66 cents. Nice also reiterated its 2013 expectations for revenue of $940-$970 million and EPS ex-items of $2.55-$2.65.

Gruber would not comment when asked what's ahead for 2014.

Nice declared a quarterly dividend of $0.16 a share, unchanged from the first quarter.

Its shares fell 2 percent to $37.67 in morning trade on Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Allyn Fisher-Ilan; Editing by Steven Scheer and Thomas Atkins)

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