VeriSign Inc. on Thursday reported a loss of $0.13 per share on revenue of $268.1 million for the third quarter. In the same period in 2002, the company had a net loss of $0.34 per share on revenue of $301 million.
The bulk of the companys revenue—40 percent—came from the Internet Services Group, which includes the security, payment, digital brand management and naming and directory services units. About 21 percent of the revenue for the quarter came from the Network Solutions subsidiary, which VeriSign has agreed to sell for $100 million. The company expects the sale to close in the fourth quarter.
“The motivation for the sale is very simple: focus. We feel theres no longer a fit with our strategic goals,” said Stratton Sclavos, chairman and CEO of VeriSign, based in Mountain View, Calif.
The Telecommunications Services Group generated the remainder of the third-quarter revenue. Company officials attributed most of the net loss to a charge of $78 million for the amortization and writing down of goodwill and other items.
The third quarter included a bit of controversy for VeriSign, generated by the launch of its SiteFinder service. The service directed Web users who mistyped a URL to a VeriSign site offering domain name and other services. The service caused a slew of complaints, and the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which governs the Internets naming infrastructure, asked VeriSign to halt the service, which the company did on Oct. 3.
The shutdown was supposed to be a temporary measure, but the service has yet to be restarted.
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