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Verisign beats estimates

The security software maker beats estimates in its fourth quarter, posting a net loss of 11 cents per share.

Security software maker VeriSign beat estimates in its fourth quarter, posting a net loss of $2.5 million, or 11 cents per share, 3 cents ahead of the consensus estimate, according to First Call.

VeriSign reported revenues rose 164 percent to $13.2 million for the three months ended December 31, compared with $5 million in the same quarter last year.

VeriSign is a leader in the market for digital certificates, which it issues to online merchants. The company said it has issued more than 100,000 digital certificates, including 19,500 in the fourth quarter. Its customers include, Dell, and E*Trade.

More than 300 corporations, government agencies and educational institutions now use VeriSign's OnSite service, including more than 100 new accounts added in the fourth quarter, the company said. OnSite is an outsourced protection service for protecting extranets, virtual private networks and e-commerce applications.

For fiscal 1998, VeriSign said it lost $16.2 million, or 78 cents per share, on revenue of $38.9 million. That's compared with a net loss, excluding one-time charges, of $15.8 million, or $2.22 per share, on $13.4 million in revenue in fiscal 1997.

Deferred revenue, which includes mostly subscriber fees, was $13.1 million as of December 31, 1998, a 147 percent increase over last year.

Earlier this month, VeriSign filed for a follow-on public offering of 2.4 million shares of stock. The offering's underwriters are Morgan Stanley Dean, Hambrecht & Quist, Dain Rauscher Wessels, and BancBoston Robertson Stephens.