VeriSign Management Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

VeriSign (VRSN)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

April 26, 2012 4:30 pm ET

Executives

David Atchley - Corporate Treasurer

D. James Bidzos - Founder, Executive Chairman, Chief Executive officer and President

John Calys - Interim Chief Financial Officer, Vice President and Controller

Patrick S. Kane - Senior Vice President and General Manager of Naming Services

Analysts

Walter H. Pritchard - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

Steven M. Ashley - Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division

Philip Winslow - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division

Sterling P. Auty - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Rob D. Owens - Pacific Crest Securities, Inc., Research Division

Jaimin Soni - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Gregg Moskowitz - Cowen and Company, LLC, Research Division

Edward Maguire - Credit Agricole Securities (USA) Inc., Research Division

Craig Nankervis - First Analysis Securities Corporation, Research Division

Presentation

Operator

Good day, and welcome to the first quarter 2012 earnings release. As a reminder, today's conference is being recorded. At this time, I'd like to turn the conference over to Mr. David Atchley. Please go ahead, sir.

David Atchley

Thank you, operator, and good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining us on VeriSign's First Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. I'm David Atchley, Corporate Treasurer and Director of Investor Relations. I'm here today with Jim Bidzos, Executive Chairman, President and CEO; and John Calys, Vice President, Interim CFO and Controller; and Pat Kane, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Naming Services.

Please note that this call and accompanying slide presentation are being webcast from the Investor Relations section of our corporate website, www.verisigninc.com. Please refer to that website for important information, including the first quarter 2012 earnings press release. A replay of this call will be available on the website within a few hours. Today's slide presentation will also be available for download after the call.

Financial results in today's press release are unaudited, and the matters we will be discussing today include forward-looking statements, and as such, are subject to the risks and uncertainties that we discuss in detail in our documents filed with the SEC, specifically the most recent report on Form 10-K and 10-Q and any applicable amendments, which identify important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements.

I would like to remind you that in light of Regulation FD, VeriSign retains its long-standing policy to not comment on financial performance or guidance during the quarter, unless it is done through a public disclosure. The financial results in today's press release and the matters we will be discussing today include non-GAAP measures used by VeriSign. GAAP to non-GAAP reconciliation information is appended to our press release and slide presentation as applicable, each of which can be found on the Investor Relations section of our website.

In a moment, Jim and John will provide some prepared remarks, and afterward, we will open up the call for your questions. Unauthorized recording of this conference call is not permitted.

With that, I would like to turn the call over to Jim. Jim?

D. James Bidzos

Thanks, David, and good afternoon, everyone. The first quarter was another solid quarter for VeriSign, and we're pleased with the results. In Naming, we again saw a record number of new registrations at 8.9 million while adding 2.86 million net names, finishing the quarter with 116.7 million names in the domain name base.

In our NIA business, we again saw strong bookings growth. We were also able to achieve ongoing operating margin expansion through disciplined operations. Our balance sheet remains strong with $1.35 billion in cash.

During the first quarter, we continued our share repurchase program by repurchasing 1.8 million shares for $68.4 million. We have approximately $763 million remaining in our share repurchase authorization program, which have no expiration.

We continually evaluate the overall cash and investing needs of the business and consider the best uses for our cash, including potential share repurchases.

While basic shares outstanding stayed essentially flat quarter-over-quarter, our diluted share count, which is used for our diluted EPS calculation, increased in the first quarter. The main driver of this increase was dilution from our convertible bonds. As in the first and second quarters of 2011, we see dilution from our convertible bonds when our average stock price for the quarter is over the current conversion price of $34.37. These shares represent diluted shares and not shares that have been issued. John will provide more details on the share count and its impact during his comments.

On March 27, ICANN posted for public comment on their website the renewal terms for the .com Registry Agreement negotiated between VeriSign and ICANN. The terms are substantially the same as the terms contained in the existing .com Registry Agreement, except for new provisions regarding indemnification and audit rights, aligning it with the other 5 largest gTLD registry agreements including the .net agreement. Regarding ICANN's new gTLD program, VeriSign applied directly for 14 new gTLDs, 12 of these 14 are transliterations of .com and .net.

Also, applicants for approximately 220 new gTLDs selected VeriSign to provide back-end registry services. It is still early in the process to determine what impact these applications will have on our revenue.

Depending on ICANN's pace for processing and approving these applications, revenue from new gTLDs is not expected before 2013 and is not expected to be material in 2013. We expect more details will be available when ICANN posts information regarding the new gTLDs for which applications were received. We expect that announcement in May.

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