DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
VeriSign Inc. (VRSN) swung to a third-quarter profit as it benefited from strength in its core businesses.
But shares fell 2.3% to $23.45 after-hours as revenue fell just short of analysts' expectations. The stock, hovering just below its 52-week high from two weeks ago, is up about one-quarter this year.
The company has been shedding its low-growth businesses to focus on Web certificates and its Internet registry. However, the core Internet registry business faces renewed antitrust concerns after a federal appeals court in June reversed the dismissal of a suit filed by a nonprofit group of domain-name stakeholders.
"As we enter the last quarter of 2009, and with our divestitures essentially behind us, we are focused on growing VeriSign's core businesses," said President and Chief Executive Mark McLaughlin.
VeriSign reported earnings of $53.6 million, or 28 cents a share, compared with a loss of $201.1 million, or $1.03 a share, a year earlier, when the company had a $242.6 million loss from discontinued operations. The latest quarter had a net 5 cents in charges.
Revenue increased 4.9% to $258 million. The core businesses recorded 6% growth.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings, excluding items, of 32 cents on revenue of $259 million.
-By Jay Miller, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2355; firstname.lastname@example.org