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VeriSign Warns

Third-quarter sales will fall short, but earnings excluding charges will meet expectations.

Updated from 4:46 p.m. EDT



warned Thursday that third-quarter sales would fall short of its targets but said earnings excluding charges would still meet prior guidance.

After the bell, Mountain View, Calif.-based VeriSign said it expects third-quarter revenue to total $410 million, short of previous guidance of $435 million to $440 million.

The Internet and telecommunications infrastructure company still expects earnings excluding charges to be consistent with prior guidance of 27 cents a share.

Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 27 cents a share on $438 million in sales.

VeriSign said its content services business is expected to fall short of management's expectations in the quarter, while the rest of its businesses are anticipated to be in line with or above previous guidance.

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In particular, VeriSign cited a revenue shortfall in the mobile content area due to higher-than-expected seasonal churn and requirements for marketing mobile content in Europe.

In a little more a week, at least two analysts have lowered their forecasts on VeriSign, citing similar issues in the company's Jamba! mobile content business.

Legg Mason analyst Todd Weller lowered his forecast for VeriSign's Jamba! mobile content unit from $440 million to $433 million -- still higher than VeriSign's number -- citing new regulations in the U.K.

The regulations are aimed at ensuring that Jamba! customers understand they're buying a subscription service and give them ample opportunity to get out of a transaction, Weller wrote in a research note.

"We believe what ultimately has become a more cumbersome purchase process has likely had a near-term crimping effect on the Jamba! business," he wrote.

"We believe the impacts of these new regulations have made what was already a tough quarter due to seasonality an even tougher quarter."

Weller has a buy rating on VeriSign, and his firm hasn't done banking with VeriSign.

Shares of VeriSign fell 14 cents, or 0.7%, to close at $20.66. Shares rebounded to climb 69 cents, or 3.3%, to $21.35 in recent after-hours trading.