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(VRSN) - Get VeriSign, Inc. Report

said it earned 18 cents a share excluding certain items in the third quarter, better than Wall Street expected.

Analysts expected it would earn 6 cents a share, according to

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First Call/Thomson Financial

. VeriSign, which offers authentication-software and domain-name registration, earned $38.4 million excluding certain items, compared with $1.6 million, 1 cent a share, a year earlier. But the most-recent quarter did include a $2.4 million pretax gain from the sale of securities and a hefty $20.5 million in pretax interest income, neither of which the company broke out on a per-share basis.

Revenue soared to $173.1 million from $22.8 million a year earlier.