February 9, 2009, 12:00 AM

Web security provider VeriSign posts 16% Q4 growth in core business revenue

The company has sold off seven of its 12 non-core businesses as it focuses on domain names, security certificates and authentication services. Revenue for the year for those businesses was up 20% to $936 million.

Katie Evans

Managing Editor, International Research

Internet security vendor VeriSign Inc. has reported a 20% increase in revenue in its core businesses for 2008 to $936 million. The company has sold off seven of the 12 business units it deems non-core since 2007 as it focuses on providing such Internet infrastructure services as SSL certificates, authentication technology and domain name management.

VeriSign reported a net loss for the year of $240 million, including a $413 million non-cash impairment charge for certain long-lived assets, loss on sale of discontinued operations and estimated losses on assets still for sale.

For the fourth quarter, VeriSign reported revenue of $245 million on its core businesses, up 16% from the same quarter in 2007.

"VeriSign again demonstrated solid performance in extremely difficult economic conditions, with 16% year-over-year revenue growth and greater than 35% non-GAAP operating margin for the fourth quarter," says Jim Bidzos, executive chairman of the board of directors and chief executive officer on an interim basis of VeriSign. "We believe our growth and financial performance reflect that our strategy of divesting non-core businesses and focusing on our strong core units is the right one. While we have not achieved all of our divestiture goals, we did sell seven of 12 non-core businesses since late 2007, and we remain very focused, despite the challenging environment, on completing sales of the remaining larger businesses."

Including non-core businesses, VeriSign reported Q4 revenue of $247.0 million, up 11.4%, and full-year revenue of $961.7 million, up 13.5%.

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