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VeriSign bests estimates, leads earnings parade

VeriSign (Nasdaq: VRSN) easily topped Wall Street estimates Wednesday with a second quarter profit as sales surged.

The company, which recently closed the acquisition of domain registrar Network Solutions, reported pro forma net income of $10.3 million, or 7 cents a share, on sales of $70.3 million. Including special charges, amortization of goodwill and other intangibles, the net loss for the quarter ended June 30 was $453 million, said VeriSign.

VeriSign, which offers Internet domain name, digital certificate and payment services, said second quarter results included 22 days of Network Solutions operations. On a standalone basis, the company reported earnings of $3.5 million, or 3 cents a share. First Call Corp. predicted a loss of a penny a share.

With Network Solutions in the fold, VeriSign's cash position jumped to $1.2 billion and deferred revenue surged to $479 million.

For authentication services, which includes digital certificates and infrastructure services, VeriSign said it issued more than 64,000 certificates in the quarter, up 137 percent from a year ago. On the payment front, VeriSign said it now has 7,400 online merchants using its payment system, up 64 percent sequentially.

Network Solutions also had a strong quarter. As of June 30, the NSI Registry had over 19 million names in service, up 41 percent from the last quarter. Network Solutions registered 2.1 million domain names in the quarter, about flat with the first quarter's net additions.

Among other Net company earnings Wednesday afternoon:

  • 724 Solutions (Nasdaq: SVNX) reported second quarter net loss of $14.8 million, or 40 cents a share, on sales of $4 million. First Call projected a loss of 39 cents a share.

  • NBCI (Nasdaq: NBCI), which issued a profit warning, reported a pro forma net loss of 81 cents a share. The results were four pennies better than Wall Street's lowered estimates. Revenue totaled $30.1 million in the quarter. Including goodwill and charges, NBCI lost $151.9 million, or $2.47 a share.

  • Quantum Effect Devices (Nasdaq: QEDI) reported a surprise second quarter profit of $867,000, or 3 cents a share. Analysts had expected a loss of 3 cents a share. Sales came in at $16.1 million, up 42 percent sequentially.>