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Updated from 4:48 p.m. EDT


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boosted third-quarter revenue by 28% year over year and added a penny a share to its bottom line, the company reported after Wednesday's close.

VeriSign earned a profit of $45 million, or 17 cents a share, compared with a profit of $40 million, or 16 cents a share, in the same period of 2004.

Revenue was $415 million, $6 million more than Wall Street was expecting. However, the revenue number was well short of the company's original guidance of $435 million to $440 million.

Excluding various items, the company reported earnings of $102 million, or 27 cents a share, which equaled the expectations of analysts polled by Thomson First Call.

CEO Stratton Sclavos, called the results "mixed," with strong demand over the company's core Internet business, which includes security and domain services, offset by a shortfall in revenue from its newer mobile-content business.

Shortfall indeed; the content business actually lost ground during the quarter, down 25% sequentially to $131 million.

Mobile content, once touted as the way for VeriSign -- a company that rests upon a no-nonsense foundation of security for e-commerce transactions and control over the .com and .net domain names -- to become a serious player in digital entertainment, has been an embarrassing flop.

Morgan Stanley recently upgraded the stock on the strength of its core business, but added that Wall Street has discounted the mobile-content business, valuing it at close to zero.

The company reiterated the fourth-quarter guidance it issued in September: Revenue will range from $395 million to $400 million with EPS of 26 cents or 27 cents.

The stock gained 68 cents in after-hours trading to $21.92 a share.

The earnings report caps an exceptionally busy period for the company, which provides Internet and telecommunications services.

On Monday, VeriSign announced that it is buying online news aggregator Moreover Technologies for $30 million.

Two weeks earlier, the company said it had acquired, which provides users with alerts when blogs and Web sites have posted fresh content, for $2.3 million. And last week, VeriSign also

agreed to sell its payment gateway business to


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