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Friday, February 6, 2015

Stock Alerts -Verisign (NASDAQ:VRSN) +7.2%; guidance better than feared, buyback expanded - 2/6/15

Verisign +7.2%; guidance better than feared, buyback expanded
  • Verisign (NASDAQ:VRSN) guided on its Q4 CC (transcript) for 2015 revenue of $1.04B-$1.06B (3%-5% growth), slightly unfavorable to a $1.06B consensus. However, that's better than feared given concerns about weakening .com domain name registration revenue.
  • Meanwhile, the company expects 2015 op. margin to be in a 60%-62% range vs. 60.2% in 2014, and gross margin to be at least 80%. Domain name revenue is expected to rise 2%-3.5%.
  • Also: Verisign has added $453M to its buyback authorization, bringing its total size back up to $1B. $209M was spent on buybacks in Q4, and $867M over the whole of 2014.
  • Verisign saw only 590K net new domain name adds in Q4 (gross registrations totaled 8.2M), below guidance of 700K-1.2M and contributing to the Q4 miss. However, net adds are expected to rise to 1M-1.5M in Q1. The renewal rate (though fluctuating a bit) remains around 72%.
  • 2014 free cash flow was $568M, well above net income of $383M.The deferred revenue balance rose 3% during the year to $890M.
  • Q4 results, PR, earnings slides (.pdf)
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