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VeriSign Raising .COM Registration Fee, Boosts Share Buybacks

Company tops earnings estimates on inline revenue in fourth quarter.
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VeriSign  (VRSN) - Get VeriSign Inc. Report topped fourth-quarter forecasts Thursday, said it is raising the annual fee for new and renewed .com domain names by 6.8% and said its board has increased authorized share buybacks to $1 billion.

The provider of domain name registry services reported net income of $157 million and diluted earnings per share of $1.38 on revenue of $320 million. In the same period a year ago, it reported net income of $148 million and diluted earnings per share of $1.26.

The company had been expected to report adjusted net income of $150 million, or $1.35 a share, on sales of $320.4 million, based on a FactSet survey of three analysts.

"Reliance on internet services increased significantly due to the global events of 2020,” said Jim Bidzos, CEO, in a statement. “Our resilient network design and preparedness over decades for challenging scenarios, and our agility and preparation for working remotely, enabled us to reliably and securely meet increased global dependence on the internet," he added.

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VeriSign said it “will increase the annual registry-level wholesale fee for each new and renewal .com domain name registration from $7.85 to $8.39, effective Sept. 1, 2021.”

In addition, the company’s board “approved an additional authorization for share repurchases of approximately $747 million of common stock, which brings the total amount to $1.0 billion authorized and available under Verisign’s share repurchase program,” according to the statement.

Shares of VeriSign rose $10.45, or 5.1%, to $215. in after-hours trading. The stock edged up 0.7% in the regular session as the Nasdaq Composite Index ended at a record close.