Digital infrastructure company VeriSign ( VRSN) beat analysts' expectations for the fourth quarter but reported a wider loss from a year ago because of a write-off in its digital content and messaging business. Net loss for the quarter was $196 million, or 88 cents a share, and included a non-cash impairment writeoff of $210 million. A year ago the company reported a loss of $29.5 million, or 13 cents a share. Excluding the charge, VeriSign reported net income of $69.83 million, or 30 cents a share, compared with $58.72 million, or 24 cents a share a year ago. Revenue for the quarter fell to $386.43 million from $408.63 million a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial were expecting revenue of $380.8 million and EPS of 29 cents. Shares of VeriSign were off 12 cents, or 0.3%, to $33.80 in recent extended trading. The company's Internet services group, which includes naming, SSL and security services, grew 20% from a year ago to $245 million in revenue. Meanwhile the communications services group, which provides communications, commerce and content services to telecom, media and entertainment companies among others, grew 4% from a year ago to revenue of $142 million. VeriSign's naming services ended the quarter with approximately 80.4 million active domain names, a 24% increase from the year before. The division also registered 18 million new and renewed domain names in .com and .net during the fourth quarter.