[NA-Discuss] Is Verisign for sale ?

Richard Tindal richardtindal at me.com
Fri Sep 9 19:54:52 UTC 2011

The $112M interest expense contains approx $100M of "contingent interest" which significantly skews the results

I was looking at the longer term performance of the domain business, however, which as a stand-alone unit is highly profitable.  As you know, it's all the other stuff (which they've now largely divested) that has affected corporate profitability

The discussion thread was about the likelihood of new TLD failure ---  so my main point being the COM/ NET businesses are extremely unlikely to fail.  Even very small registries can be run profitably if management control costs and keep to their knitting  (in my opinion).


On Sep 9, 2011, at 8:50 AM, John R. Levine wrote:

>> Publicly available financial filings show that VeriSign is strongly profitable.
> In the December quarter, VRSN lost $40M on sales of $176M.  In the March quarter, they made $40M on sales of $181M.  In the June quarter they lost $10.6M on sales of $189M, so, no, they're not.  It really is not helpful to make false assertions when you can look up the facts in 30 seconds.
> It's hard to figure out VRSN's long term financial picture because they've been shedding units like crazy, most notably the SSL cert business.  In the September 2010 quarter they had a $741M adjustment for discontinued operations which I presume is the SSL business.  In the three quarters since then, they've lost money, but they have huge interest expenses, $112M this quarter and they're in the process of buying a headquarters building for $118M.  They have a billion dollars in cash and $584M in long term debt which doesn't strike me as good planning in this economy.
> So they're not profitable, but I think that is more likely due to all of the other stuff they're doing than to lack of cash flow from all those registrations.
> Regards,
> John Levine, johnl at iecc.com, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet for Dummies",
> Please consider the environment before reading this e-mail. http://jl.ly

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