VeriSign, Inc. (VRSN)

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VeriSign (VRSN)

Q3 2012 Earnings Call

October 25, 2012 4:30 pm ET


David Atchley - Corporate Treasurer

D. James Bidzos - Founder, Executive Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

George E. Kilguss - Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President

Patrick S. Kane - Senior Vice President and General Manager of Naming Services


Walter H. Pritchard - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

Sterling P. Auty - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Steven M. Ashley - Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division

Gray Powell - Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division

Gregg Moskowitz - Cowen and Company, LLC, Research Division

Edward Maguire - Credit Agricole Securities (USA) Inc., Research Division

Frederick D. Ziegel - Topeka Capital Markets Inc., Research Division

Jaimin Soni - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division



Good afternoon, and welcome to the third quarter 2012 earnings call. Today's conference is being recorded. At this time, I would like to turn the presentation over to Mr. David Atchley.

David Atchley

Thank you, operator, and good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining us on VeriSign's Third Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. I'm David Atchley, Director of Investor Relations and Corporate Treasurer. I'm here today with Jim Bidzos, Executive Chairman, President and CEO; George Kilguss, Senior Vice President and CFO; and Pat Kane, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Naming Services.

Please note that this call and accompanying slide presentation are being webcast from the Investor Relations section of our corporate website, www.verisigninc.com. Please refer to that website for important information, including the third quarter 2012 earnings press release. A replay of this call will be available on the website within a few hours. Today's slide presentation will also be available for download after the call.

Financial results in today's press release are unaudited, and the matters we will be discussing today include forward-looking statements, and as such, are subject to the risks and uncertainties that we discuss in detail in our documents filed with the SEC, specifically the most recent report on Forms 10-K and 10-Q and any applicable amendments, which identify important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements.

I would like to remind you that in light of Regulation FD, VeriSign retains its long-standing policy to not comment on financial performance or guidance during the quarter, unless it is done through a public disclosure. The financial results in today's press release and the matters we will be discussing today include GAAP and non-GAAP measures used by VeriSign. GAAP to non-GAAP reconciliation information is appended to our press release and slide presentation as applicable, each of which can be found on the Investor Relations section of our website.

In a moment, Jim and George will provide some prepared remarks, and afterward, we will open up the call for your questions. Unauthorized recording of this conference call is not permitted.

With that, I would like to turn the call over to Jim.

D. James Bidzos

Thanks, David, and good afternoon, everyone. Thanks for joining us on the call today. As you will have seen from the press release, we have some important news about the status of the renewal of the .com agreement. I'll begin with the news on the .com renewal and then George and I will cover the key highlights for the quarter, and then we'll turn to your questions.

By terms in an agreement between the Department of Commerce and VeriSign called the Cooperative Agreement, we submitted our agreement with ICANN, to service the authoritative registry operator for the .com registry to the Commerce Department for its review on June 26, 2012. As a result of communications beginning in October 2012 with the Commerce Department, we learned that the Commerce Department was conducting a review of pricing with the Department of Justice. We believe this review, which we are participating in, may continue beyond November 30, 2012, in which case a 6-month extension of the .com registry agreement would become effective. We want to emphasize that nothing has happened that changes the risk of our running .com. We expect to continue to be the registry operator of .com. Our record on security and stability has been acknowledged by the Commerce Department. We are involved in discussions with the Commerce and Justice Departments as they review the pricing terms in the .com renewal agreement. These discussions are ongoing and could extend beyond November 30. We will work diligently with them through the review process. Because of our discussions on this matter are ongoing, I'm not going to go into more detail. We will, however, update you when appropriate regarding new information. I'll now review the key highlights of the third quarter.

The third quarter was another solid quarter for VeriSign and we continue to see benefits from our restructuring focus and discipline. In Naming, we processed 7.8 million new registrations in the third quarter while adding 1.37 million .net names, finishing the quarter with 119.9 million names in the domain name base.

Our balance sheet remains strong, with $1.5 billion in cash and marketable securities. During the third quarter, we continued our share repurchase program by repurchasing 1.7 million shares for $77 million. Through the first 3 quarters of 2012, we have repurchased approximately 5.4 million shares for $221 million and we have approximately $610 million remaining in our share repurchase program which has no expiration.

We continually evaluate the overall cash and investing needs of the business and consider the best uses for our cash, including potential share repurchases.

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