VeriSign, Inc.
VERISIGN INC/CA (Form: 10-K, Received: 02/28/2013 17:02:32)
Table of Contents

 
 
 
 
 
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
————————
FORM 10-K
(Mark One)
þ
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012
OR
o
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from                  to                 
Commission File Number: 000-23593 
————————
VERISIGN, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware
 
94-3221585
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
 
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
 
 
 
12061 Bluemont Way, Reston, Virginia
 
20190
(Address of principal executive offices)
 
(Zip Code)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (703) 948-3200
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock $0.001 Par Value Per Share, and the Associated Stock Purchase Rights
NASDAQ Global Select Market
 
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
———————
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.     YES    þ     NO    o
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.  YES    o     NO    þ
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. YES    þ NO    o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).     YES    þ      NO    o
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of the registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.    þ
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer
þ
 
 
 
 
Accelerated filer
   o
Non-accelerated filer
   o
 
 
 
 
Smaller reporting company
   o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.):     YES    o      NO    þ
The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity stock held by non-affiliates of the Registrant as of June 30, 2012, was $3.8 billion based upon the last sale price reported for such date on the NASDAQ Global Select Market. For purposes of this disclosure, shares of Common Stock held by persons known to the Registrant (based on information provided by such persons and/or the most recent schedule 13Gs filed by such persons) to beneficially own more than 5% of the Registrant’s Common Stock and shares held by officers and directors of the Registrant have been excluded because such persons may be deemed to be affiliates. This determination is not necessarily a conclusive determination for other purposes.  
Number of shares of Common Stock, $0.001 par value, outstanding as of the close of business on February 22, 2013: 152,561,275 shares.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the definitive Proxy Statement to be delivered to stockholders in connection with the 2013 Annual Meeting of Stockholders are incorporated by reference into Part III
 
 
 
 
 


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
 
 
Page
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

2

Table of Contents

For purposes of this Annual Report, the terms “Verisign”, “the Company”, “we”, “us” and “our” refer to VeriSign, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries.

PART I
 
ITEM 1.
BUSINESS

Overview
 
We are a provider of Internet infrastructure services. By leveraging our global infrastructure, we provide network confidence and availability for mission-critical Internet services, such as domain name registry services and infrastructure assurance services. Our service capabilities enable real-time name resolution for a number of global top level domains (“TLDs”), enable domain name registration through registrars, and provide security intelligence and cloud-based network availability services to enterprise customers.
 
Our one reportable segment is Naming Services, which consists of Registry Services and Network Intelligence and Availability (“NIA”) Services. We have operations inside as well as outside the United States (“U.S.”). For certain additional information about our segment, including a geographic breakdown of revenues and changes in revenues, see “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in Item 7 and Note 10, “Geographic and Customer Information” of our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 15 of this Form 10-K.
 
Registry Services operates the authoritative directory of all .com, .net, .cc, .tv, and .name domain names and the back-end systems for all .gov , .jobs and .edu domain names. NIA Services provides infrastructure assurance services to organizations and is comprised of Verisign iDefense Security Intelligence Services (“iDefense”), Managed Domain Name System (“Managed DNS”) Services, and Distributed Denial of Service (“DDoS”) Protection Services.
 
We were incorporated in Delaware on April 12, 1995. Our principal executive offices are located at 12061 Bluemont Way, Reston, Virginia 20190. Our telephone number at that address is (703) 948-3200. Our common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol VRSN. VERISIGN, the VERISIGN logo, and certain other product or service names are registered or unregistered trademarks in the U.S. and other countries. Other names used in this Form 10-K may be trademarks of their respective owners. Our primary website is www.VerisignInc.com . The information available on, or accessible through, this website is not incorporated in this Form 10-K by reference.
 
Our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), are available, free of charge, on the Investor Relations section of our website as soon as is reasonably practicable after filing such reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). The public may read and copy any materials we file with the SEC at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, NE, Washington, DC 20549. The public may obtain information on the operation of the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. The SEC maintains an Internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC at www.sec.gov .

Pursuant to our agreements with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”), Verisign makes available on its website at www.VerisignInc.com/zone files containing all active domain names registered in the .com and .net registries. At the same website address, Verisign makes available a summary of the number of active domain names registered in the . com and . net registries and the number of . com and . net domain names that are registered but are not configured for use. These files and the related summary data are updated at least once per day. The update times may vary each day. The summary data provided on the website includes domain names that, at the time of publication, were recently purchased and subject to a five day grace period during which the domain names may be deleted and a credit may be issued to a registrar (the “add grace period”). The number of active domain names subject to the add grace period is typically immaterial. The numbers provided in this Form 10-K are the numbers as of midnight of the date reported, include domain names registered but not configured for use, and do not include domain names subject to the add grace period and therefore cannot be compared to the summary posted on our website. The information available on, or accessible through, this website is not incorporated herein by reference.
 

3

Table of Contents

  Naming Services
 
Registry Services
 
Registry Services operates the authoritative directory of all .com, .net, .cc, .tv, and .name domain names and the back-end systems for all .gov , .jobs and .edu domain names. Registry Services allows individuals and organizations to establish their online identities, while providing the secure, always-on access they need to communicate and transact reliably with large-scale online audiences.
 
We are the exclusive registry of domain names within the .com, .net and .name generic top-level domains (“gTLDs”) under agreements with ICANN and also, with respect to the .com agreement, the U.S. Department of Commerce (“DOC”). As a registry, we maintain the master directory of all second-level domain names in these TLDs (e.g., johndoe.com and janedoe.net). Our global constellation of domain name servers provides Internet Protocol (“IP”) address information in response to queries, enabling the use of browsers, email systems, and other systems on the Internet. In addition, we own and maintain the shared registration system that allows all registrars to enter new second-level domain names into the master directory and to submit modifications, transfers, re-registrations and deletions for existing second-level domain names (“Shared Registration System”).
 
Separate from our agreements with ICANN, we have agreements to be the exclusive registry for the .tv and .cc country code top-level domains (“ccTLDs”) and to operate the back-end registry systems for the .gov , .jobs and .edu gTLDs. These TLDs are also supported by our global constellation of domain name servers and Shared Registration System.
 
With our existing gTLDs and ccTLDs, we also provide internationalized domain name (“IDN”) services that enable Internet users to access websites in characters representing their local language. Currently, IDNs may be registered in as many as 350 different native languages and scripts.
 
Domain names can be registered for between one and 10 years, and the fees charged for .com and .net may only be increased according to adjustments prescribed in our agreements with ICANN over the applicable term. With respect to . com, price increases require prior approval by the DOC according to the terms of Amendment 32 of the Cooperative Agreement between the DOC and Verisign. Revenues for registrations of .name are not subject to the same pricing restrictions as those applicable to .com and .net ; however, .name fees charged are subject to our agreement with ICANN over the applicable term. Revenues for .cc and .tv domain names are based on a similar fee system and registration system, though the fees charged are not subject to the same pricing restrictions as those imposed by ICANN. The fees received from operating the . gov registry are based on the terms of Verisign’s agreement with the U.S. General Services Administration (“GSA”). The fees received from operating the .jobs registry infrastructure are based on the terms of Verisign’s agreement with the registry operator of .jobs. No fees are received from operating the .edu registry infrastructure.

Historically, we have experienced higher domain name growth in the first quarter of the year compared to other quarters. Our quarterly revenue does not reflect these seasonal patterns because the preponderance of our revenue for each quarterly period is provided by the ratable recognition of our deferred revenue balance.
 
NIA Services
 
NIA Services provides infrastructure assurance to organizations and is comprised of iDefense, Managed DNS and DDoS Protection Services.
 
iDefense provides 24 hours a day, every day of the year, access to cyber intelligence related to vulnerabilities, malicious code, and global threats. Our teams enable companies to improve vulnerability management, incident response, fraud mitigation, and proactive mitigation of the particular threats targeting their industry or global operations. Customers include financial institutions, large corporations, and governmental and quasi-governmental organizations. Customers pay a subscription fee for iDefense.
 
Managed DNS is a hosting service that delivers DNS resolution, improving the availability of web-based systems. It provides DNS availability through a globally distributed, securely managed, cloud-based DNS infrastructure, allowing enterprises to save on capital expenses associated with DNS infrastructure deployment and reduce operational costs and complexity associated with DNS management. Managed DNS service provides full support for DNS Security Extensions (“DNSSEC”) compliance features and Geo Location traffic routing capabilities.  DNSSEC is designed to protect the DNS infrastructure from man-in-the-middle attacks that corrupt, or poison, DNS data. Geo Location allows website owners to customize responses for end-users based on their physical location or IP address, giving them the ability to deliver location-specific content. Customers include financial institutions, e-Commerce, and Software-as-a-service providers.  Customers pay a subscription fee that varies based on the amount of DNS traffic they receive.


4

Table of Contents

DDoS Protection Services supports online business continuity by providing monitoring and mitigation services against DDoS attacks. We help companies stay online without needing to make significant investments in infrastructure or establish internal DDoS expertise. As a cloud-based service, it can be deployed quickly and easily, with no customer premise equipment required. This saves time and money through operational efficiencies, support cost, and economies of scale to provide detection and protection against the largest DDoS attacks. Customers include financial institutions and e-commerce providers. Customers pay a subscription fee that varies depending on the customer’s network requirements.
 
Operations Infrastructure
 
Our operations infrastructure consists of three primary Company-operated secure data centers in Dulles, Virginia; New Castle, Delaware; and Fribourg, Switzerland as well as approximately 70 globally distributed resolution sites, which includes both regional resolution sites and supersites. These secure data centers operate 24 hours a day, supporting our business units and services. The performance and scale of our infrastructure are critical for our business, and give us the platform to maintain our leadership position. Key features of our operations infrastructure include:
 
Distributed Servers:     We deploy a large number of high-speed servers globally to support capacity and availability demands that, in conjunction with our proprietary software, processes and procedures, offer automatic failover, global and local load balancing, and threshold monitoring on critical servers.
 
Advanced Telecommunications:     We deploy and maintain redundant and diverse telecommunications and routing hardware, and maintain high-speed connections to multiple Internet service providers (“ISPs”) and peering relationships globally to ensure that our critical services are readily accessible to customers at all times.
 
Network Security:     We incorporate architectural concepts such as protected domains, restricted nodes and distributed access control in our system architecture. We have also developed proprietary communications protocols within and between software modules that are designed to prevent most known forms of electronic attacks. In addition, we employ firewalls and intrusion detection software, as well as proprietary security mechanisms at many points across our infrastructure. We perform recurring internal vulnerability testing and controls audits, and also contract with third-party security consultants who perform periodic penetration tests and security risk assessments on our systems. Verisign has engineered resiliency and diversity into how it hosts classes of products throughout its set of interconnected sites. This includes different physical security silos, which themselves are separated into bulkheads, and in which servers are located. Diversity and functional separation of duties also extends to operations personnel, with different teams administering different infrastructure, account credentials, modes of authentication, security layers, and where appropriate, application software, operating systems and hardware. Corporate networks are in their own physical silo. Thus, the corporate networks to which personnel directly connect are separated from the silos that house production services; administration of production gear from corporate systems must go through an internal, fortified intermediary; and account credentials used within the corporate networks are not used within the production silos, nor on the fortified systems.

Services Integrity: Verisign employs both phased and systemic integrity validation operations via a number of proprietary mechanisms on all internal DNS publication operations.
 
As part of our operations infrastructure for our Registry Services business, we operate all authoritative domain name servers that answer domain name lookups for the .com and .net zones, as well as for the other TLDs for which we are the registry. We also operate two of the 13 externally visible root zone server addresses, which are considered to be the authoritative root zone servers of the Internet’s DNS. The domain name servers provide the associated authoritative name servers and IP addresses for every .com and .net domain name on the Internet and a large number of other TLD queries, resulting in an annual average of over 60 billion transactions per day. These name servers are located around the world, and provide local domain name service globally. Each server facility is a controlled and monitored environment, incorporating security and system maintenance features. This network of name servers is one of the cornerstones of the Internet’s DNS infrastructure.

In 2012, we continued to expand our infrastructure to meet demand to support normal and peak system load and attack volumes based on what we have experienced historically, as well as to accommodate projected Internet attack trends. In 2011, we deployed DNSSEC in the .com domain, to protect the integrity of domain name system data.
 
Call Centers and Help Desk:     We provide customer support services through our phone-based call centers, email help desks and Web-based self-help systems. Our Virginia call center is staffed 24 hours a day, every day of the year to support our businesses. All call centers have a staff of trained customer support agents and also provide Web-based support services utilizing customized automatic response systems to provide self-help recommendations.

5

Table of Contents

 
Operations Support and Monitoring:     Through our network operations centers, we have an extensive monitoring capability that enables us to track the status and performance of our critical database systems and our global resolution systems. Our distributed network operations centers are staffed 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
 
Disaster Recovery Plans:     We have disaster recovery and business continuity capabilities that are designed to deal with the loss of entire data centers and other facilities. Our Registry Services business maintains dual mirrored data centers that allow rapid failover with no data loss and no loss of function or capacity, as well as off-continent tertiary Registry Services capabilities. Our critical data services (including domain name registration and global resolution) use advanced storage systems that provide data protection through techniques such as synchronous mirroring and remote replication.

Divestitures and Restructuring

In 2011, we completed our four-year restructuring plans, which included divesting or winding down our non-core businesses, the sale of our Authentication Services business, and relocating our headquarters. Information about the divestitures and restructuring, and their impact on our financial statements is included in Note 4 “Discontinued Operations” and Note 6 “Restructuring Charges” of our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 15 of this Form 10-K.

Marketing, Sales and Distribution
 
We offer promotional marketing programs for our registrars based upon market conditions and the business environment in which the registrars operate. We seek to expand our existing businesses through focused marketing programs that target . com and . net zone growth, particularly in emerging international markets, and by extending our brand and serving new markets through the internationalized domain names for which we have applied. We market our NIA Services worldwide through multiple distribution channels, including direct sales and indirect channels. We have marketing and sales offices throughout the world.
 
Research and Development
 
We believe that timely development of new and enhanced services, including monitoring and visualization, registry provisioning platforms, data services, value added services, and NIA Services is necessary to remain competitive in the marketplace. During 2012, 2011 and 2010 our research and development expenses were $61.7 million, $53.3 million and $53.7 million, respectively.
 
Our future success will depend in large part on our ability to continue to maintain and enhance our current technologies and services, and to develop new ones. We actively investigate and incubate new concepts, and evaluate new business ideas through our innovation pipeline.  In conjunction, we also continue to focus on growing our patent portfolio and consider opportunities for its strategic use. In the past, we developed our services both independently and through efforts with leading application developers and major customers. We have also, in certain circumstances, acquired or licensed technology from third parties. We expect that most of the future enhancements to existing services and new services will be the result of either our own internal development efforts or our cooperative work with suppliers, customers and the technology community.
 
The markets for our services are dynamic, characterized by rapid technological developments, frequent new product introductions and evolving industry standards. The constantly changing nature of these markets and their rapid evolution will require us to continually improve the performance, features and reliability of our services, particularly in response to competitive offerings, and to introduce both new and enhanced services as quickly as possible and prior to our competitors.
 
Competition
 
We compete with numerous companies in each of the Registry Services and NIA Services businesses. The overall number of our competitors may increase and the identity and composition of competitors may change over time.
Competition in Registry Services: We face competition in the domain name registry space from other gTLD and ccTLD registries that are competing for the business of entities and individuals that are seeking to establish a Web presence, including registries offering services related to the .info, .org, .mobi, .biz, .pro, .aero, .museum, .coop and .xxx gTLDs and registries offering services related to ccTLDs. ICANN currently has registry agreements with 16 registries for the operation of 18 gTLDs. In addition, there are over 250 Latin script ccTLD registries and 38 IDN ccTLD registries. Furthermore, under our agreements with ICANN, we are subject to certain restrictions in the operation of .com , .net and .name on pricing, bundling, methods of distribution, the introduction of new registry services, and use of registrars that do not apply to ccTLDs and therefore may create a competitive disadvantage. If other registries launch marketing campaigns for new or existing TLDs, including forms of

6

Table of Contents

marketing campaigns that we are prohibited from running under the terms of our agreements with ICANN, which result in registrars or their resellers giving other TLDs greater prominence on their websites, advertising or marketing materials, we could be at a competitive disadvantage and our business could suffer.
We also face competition from service providers that offer outsourced domain name registration, resolution and other DNS services to organizations that require a reliable and scalable infrastructure. Among the competitors are Neustar, Inc., Afilias Limited, ARI Registry Services and Nominet UK, Inc. In addition, to the extent end-users navigate using search engines or social media, as opposed to direct navigation, we may face competition from search engine operators such as Google Inc., Microsoft Corporation, and Yahoo! Inc., operators of social networks such as Facebook, and operators of microblogging tools such as Twitter. Furthermore, to the extent end-users increase the use of web and phone applications to locate and access content, we may face competition from providers of such web and mobile applications.
Additional competition to our business may arise from the introduction of new TLDs by ICANN. ICANN announced the introduction of new gTLDs, which include IDN gTLDs. On October 30, 2009, ICANN approved a fast track process for the awarding of new IDN ccTLDs and such new IDN ccTLDs have started to be introduced into the root. On June 13, 2012, ICANN announced it received 1930 applications to operate over 1400 new gTLDs, with new registration opportunities expected to be available beginning in 2013. We do not yet know the impact, if any, that these new domain extensions may have on our business, including if or how the introduction of these new gTLDs will affect registrations for .com and .net and therefore could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
Applicants for new gTLDs include companies which may have greater financial, marketing and other resources than we do, including companies that are existing competitors, domain name registrars and new entrants into the domain name industry. Furthermore, ICANN will allow the operators of new gTLDs to also own, be owned 100% by or otherwise affiliated with a registrar, whereas we are currently prohibited by our agreements with ICANN and the DOC from owning more than 15% of a registrar. As a result, operators of new gTLDs may be able to obtain competitive advantages through such vertical integration. ICANN has also approved a process pursuant to which an operator of an existing gTLD could apply to become a registrar with respect to a new gTLD. At least one gTLD operator has used this process; however, it is uncertain whether ICANN and/or the DOC would approve the necessary changes to Verisign’s existing agreements to allow us to vertically integrate with respect to new gTLDs, in which case, we may be at a competitive disadvantage.
We have applied for 14 gTLDs, including 12 IDN gTLDs. There is no certainty that we will ultimately obtain these gTLDs, and even if we are successful in obtaining one or more of these new domain extensions, there is no guarantee that such extensions will be any more successful than the domain name extensions obtained by our competitors. Similarly, while we have entered into agreements to provide back-end registry services to other applicants for approximately 220 new gTLDs, there is no guarantee that such applicants will be successful in obtaining one or more of these new domain extensions or that such domain extensions will be successful. Furthermore, ICANN has stated that it will need to limit the maximum number of new gTLDs that may be delegated in a year, which will delay the granting of some gTLDs. Even though IDN gTLDs have been given priority, other factors related to the application process could delay or disrupt an application and the timing of revenue generation, if any, from these gTLDs. The timing of revenue may also be dependent on how diligently our customers proceed to delegation and launch following the completion of the application process and our customers’ respective launch plans for the new gTLDs.
In addition, our agreements to provide back-end registry services directly to other applicants and indirectly through reseller relationships expose us to operational and other risks. For, example, the increase in the number of gTLDs for which we provide registry services on a standalone basis or as a back-end service provider could further increase costs or increase the frequency or scope of targeted attacks from nefarious actors. Finally, IDN TLDs face additional challenges in that current desktop or mobile device software does not ubiquitously recognize IDN TLDs and may be slow to adopt standards even if demand for such products is strong.
Competition in NIA Services: Several of our current and potential competitors have longer operating histories and/or significantly greater financial, technical, marketing and other resources than we do and therefore may be able to respond more quickly than we can to new or changing opportunities, technologies, standards and customer requirements. Many of these competitors also have broader and more established distribution channels that may be used to deliver competing products or services directly to customers through bundling or other means. If such competitors were to bundle competing products or services for their customers, we may experience difficulty establishing or increasing demand for our products and services or distributing our products successfully.

7

Table of Contents

We face competition in the network intelligence and availability services industry from companies or services such as iSight Partners, IBM X-Force, Secunia ApS, Dell SecureWorks, McAfee, Inc., Prolexic Technologies, Inc., AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications, Inc., Dyn, Inc., Neustar, Inc., OpenDNS, BlueCat Networks, Inc., Infoblox Inc., Nominum, Inc., Afilias Limited and Akamai Technologies, Inc.

Industry Regulation
 
Registry Services:  Within the U.S. Government, oversight of the DNS is provided by the DOC. Effective October 1, 2009, the DOC and ICANN entered into a new agreement, known as the “Affirmation of Commitments” which replaced the seventh amendment of the original Memorandum of Understanding and known as the Joint Project Agreement. Under the Affirmation of Commitments, the DOC became one of several parties working together with other representative constituency members in providing an on-going review of ICANN’s performance and accountability. The Affirmation of Commitments sets forth a periodic review process by committees which provide for more international and multi-discipline participation. These review panels are charged with reviewing and making recommendations regarding: (i) the accountability and transparency of ICANN; (ii) the security, stability and resiliency of the DNS; (iii) the impact of new gTLDs on competition, consumer trust, and consumer choice; and (iv) the effectiveness of ICANN’s policies with respect to registrant data in meeting the legitimate needs of law enforcement and promoting consumer trust. Under the Affirmation of Commitments, the Assistant Secretary of Communications and Information of the DOC will be a member of the “Accountability and Transparency” review panel. The reviews generally are to occur no less than every three to four years.
 
As the exclusive registry of domain names within the .com , .net and .name gTLDs, we have entered into certain agreements with ICANN and, in the case of . com , the DOC:
 
.com Registry Agreement: On November 29, 2012, we entered into a new Registry Agreement with ICANN for the .com gTLD (the “ .com Registry Agreement”). The .com Registry Agreement provides that we will continue to be the sole registry operator for domain names in the .com TLD through November 30, 2018. The new .com Registry Agreement revised the pricing provisions for .com domain name registrations contained in the prior agreement to provide that the price of a .com domain name shall not exceed $7.85 for the term of the Agreement except that the Company will continue to have the right to increase the price of a .com domain name during the term, subject to the terms of the Cooperative Agreement as set forth below, due to the imposition of any new Consensus Policy or documented extraordinary expense resulting from an attack or threat of attack on the Security or Stability (each as defined in the .com Registry Agreement) of the DNS not to exceed 7% above the price in the prior year. Additionally, while the Company previously paid ICANN a flat registry fee of $1.5 million each month, under the new agreement the Company no longer pays a flat fee and instead must now pay to ICANN on a quarterly basis, $0.25 for each annual increment of a domain name registered or renewed during such quarter. See Note 14, “Commitments and Contingencies” of our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 15 of this Form 10-K. We are required to comply with and implement temporary specifications or policies and consensus policies, as well as other provisions pursuant to the .com Registry Agreement relating to handling of data and other registry operations. The .com Registry Agreement also provides a procedure for Verisign to propose, and ICANN to review and approve, additional registry services.

The .com Registry Agreement provides that it shall be renewed for successive terms unless it has been determined that Verisign has been in fundamental and material breach of certain provisions of the .com Registry Agreement and has failed to cure such breach. As further described below, Verisign may not enter into any renewal of the .com Registry Agreement, or any other extension or continuation of, or substitution for, the . com Registry Agreement without prior written approval by the DOC.
 
Cooperative Agreement: On November 29, 2012, Verisign and the DOC entered into Amendment Number Thirty-Two (32) (“Amendment 32”) to the Cooperative Agreement between Verisign and the DOC (the “Cooperative Agreement”), which approves the renewal of the . com Registry Agreement on the terms and conditions described below as in the public interest. Except as modified by Amendment 32, the terms and conditions of the Cooperative Agreement, including Amendment Thirty (30) to the Cooperative Agreement, which was entered into on November 29, 2006 by the Company and the DOC, remain unchanged. Amendment 32 provides that the Maximum Price (as defined in the .com Registry Agreement) of a .com domain name shall not exceed $7.85 for the term of the .com Registry Agreement, except that the Company is entitled to increase the Maximum Price of a .com domain name due to the imposition of any new Consensus Policy or documented extraordinary expense resulting from an attack or threat of attack on the Security or Stability of the DNS as described in the .com Registry Agreement, provided that the Company may not exercise such right unless the DOC provides prior written approval that the exercise of such right will serve the public interest, such approval not to be unreasonably withheld. Amendment 32 further provides that the Company shall be entitled at any time during the term of the . com Registry Agreement to seek to remove the pricing restrictions contained in the .com Registry Agreement if the Company demonstrates to the DOC that market conditions no longer warrant pricing restrictions in the .com Registry Agreement, as determined by the DOC. Amendment 32 also provides that the DOC’s approval of the .com Registry Agreement is not intended to confer federal antitrust immunity on the Company

8

Table of Contents

with respect to the .com Registry Agreement and extends the term of the Cooperative Agreement through November 30, 2018. The Cooperative Agreement also provides that any renewal or extension of the .com Registry Agreement is subject to prior written approval by the DOC. Amendment 30 to the Cooperative Agreement provides that the DOC shall approve such renewal if it concludes that approval will serve the public interest in (a) the continued security and stability of the Internet DNS and the operation of the .com registry including, in addition to other relevant factors, consideration of Verisign’s compliance with consensus policies and technical specifications, its service level agreements as set forth in the .com Registry Agreement, and the investment associated with improving the security and stability of the DNS, and (b) the provision of Registry Services as defined in the .com Registry Agreement at reasonable prices, terms and conditions. The parties have an expectancy of renewal of the .com Registry Agreement so long as the foregoing public interest standard is met and Verisign is not in breach of the .com Registry Agreement.
 
.net Registry Agreement: On June 27, 2011, we entered into a renewal of our Registry Agreement with ICANN for the .net gTLD (the “ .net Registry Agreement”). The .net Registry Agreement provides that we will continue to be the sole registry operator for domain names in the .net TLD through June 30, 2017. The .net Registry Agreement provides that it shall be renewed unless it has been determined that Verisign has been in fundamental and material breach of certain provisions of the .net Registry Agreement and has failed to cure such breach.
 
The descriptions of the .com Registry Agreement, Amendment 32, Amendment 30, the Cooperative Agreement, and the .net Registry Agreement are qualified in their entirety by the text of the complete agreements that are incorporated by reference as exhibits in this Form 10-K.
 
.name Registry Agreement: On December 1, 2012, Verisign and ICANN entered into a revised .name Registry Agreement which provides that we will continue to be the sole registry operator for domain names in the .name TLD through August 15, 2018. The renewal provisions are the same as for the .net Registry Agreement.
 
Some of the services we provide to customers globally may require approval under applicable U.S. export law. As the list of products and countries requiring export approval expands or changes, government restrictions on the export of software and hardware products utilizing encryption technology may grow and become an impediment to our growth in international markets. If we do not obtain required approvals or we violate applicable laws, we may not be able to provide some of our services in international markets and may be subject to fines and other penalties.
 
Intellectual Property
 
We rely primarily on a combination of copyrights, trademarks, service marks, patents, restrictions on disclosure and other methods to protect our intellectual property. We also enter into confidentiality and/or invention assignment agreements with our employees, consultants and current and potential affiliates, customers and business partners. We also generally control access to and distribution of proprietary documentation and other confidential information.
 
We have been issued numerous patents in the U.S. and abroad, covering a wide range of our technology. Additionally, we have filed numerous patent applications with respect to certain of our technology in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and patent offices outside the U.S. Patents may not be awarded with respect to these applications and even if such patents are awarded, such patents may not provide us with sufficient protection of our intellectual property. We continue to focus on growing our patent portfolio and consider opportunities for its strategic use.
 
We have obtained trademark registrations for the VERISIGN mark in the U.S. and other countries, and have filed new trademark applications for the new VERISIGN logo covering the same countries. We have common law rights in other proprietary names. We take steps to enforce and police Verisign’s trademarks. We rely on the strength of our Verisign brand to help differentiate ourselves in the marketing of our products and services.
 
With regard to our Naming Services businesses, our principal intellectual property consists of, and our success is dependent upon, proprietary software used in our Naming Services businesses and certain methodologies and technical expertise we use in both the design and implementation of our current and future registry services and Internet-based products and services businesses. We own our proprietary Shared Registration System through which registrars submit second-level domain name registrations for each of the registries we operate, as well as the ATLAS distributed lookup system which processes billions of queries per day. Some of the software and protocols used in our registry services are in the public domain or are otherwise available to our competitors. Some of the software and protocols used in our business are based on open standards set by organizations such as the Internet Engineering Task Force (“IETF”). To the extent any of our patents are considered “standard essential patents,” we may be required to license such patents to our competitors on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.


9

Table of Contents

Under the agreement reached with Symantec for the sale of our Authentication Services business, which closed on August 9, 2010 (the “Closing Date”), Symantec acquired all trademarks primarily used in our Authentication Services business, including our checkmark logo and the Geotrust and thawte brand names, and we granted Symantec a five-year license in connection with the VeriSign.com website. The VeriSign.com website will be operated by Symantec for a period of five years following the Closing Date, subject to certain rights of Verisign (including the right to include links to sub-domains operated by us).
 
Employees
 
The following table shows a comparison of our consolidated employee headcount, by function:
 
As of December 31,
 
2012
 
2011
 
2010
Employee headcount by function
 
 
 
 
 
Cost of revenues
304

 
284

 
256

Sales and marketing
194

 
191

 
133

Research and development
339

 
287

 
272

General and administrative
262

 
247

 
387

Total
1,099

 
1,009

 
1,048


We have never had a work stoppage, and no U.S.-based employees are represented under collective bargaining agreements. Our ability to achieve our financial and operational objectives depends in large part upon our continued ability to attract, integrate, train, retain and motivate highly qualified sales, technical and managerial personnel, and upon the continued service of our senior management and key sales and technical personnel. Competition for qualified personnel in our industry and in some of our geographical locations is intense, particularly for software development personnel.

10

Table of Contents


ITEM 1A.      RISK FACTORS
 
In addition to other information in this Form 10-K, the following risk factors should be carefully considered in evaluating us and our business because these factors currently have a significant impact or may have a significant impact on our business, operating results or financial condition. Actual results could differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements contained in this Form 10-K as a result of the risk factors discussed below and elsewhere in this Form 10-K and in other filings we make with the SEC.
Risks relating to our business
Our operating results may fluctuate and our future revenues and profitability are uncertain.
Our operating results have varied in the past and may fluctuate significantly in the future as a result of a variety of factors, many of which are outside our control. These factors include the following:  
current global economic and financial conditions as well as their impact on e-commerce, financial services, and the communications and Internet industries;  
volume of new domain name registrations and renewals;  
the long sales and implementation cycles for, and potentially large order sizes of, some of our services and the timing and execution of individual customer contracts;  
our success in direct marketing and promotional campaigns and the impact of such campaigns on new registrations and renewal rates;  
in the case of our Registry Services business, any changes to the scope and success of marketing efforts by third-party registrars or their resellers;  
market acceptance of our services by our existing customers and by new customers;  
customer renewal rates and turnover of customers of our services, and in the case of our Registry Services business, the customers of the distributors of our services;  
continued development of our distribution channels for our products and services, both in the U.S. and abroad;  
the impact of price changes in our products and services or our competitors’ products and services;  
the impact of decisions by distributors to offer competing or replacement products or modify or cease their marketing practices;  
the availability of alternatives to our products;  
seasonal fluctuations in business activity;  
changes in marketing expenses related to promoting and distributing our services or services provided by third-party registrars or their resellers;  
potential attacks, including hacktivism, by nefarious actors, which could threaten the perceived reliability of our products and services;
potential attacks on the service offerings of our distributors, such as DDoS attacks, which could limit the availability of their service offerings and their ability to offer our products and services;
changes in policies regarding Internet administration imposed by governments or governmental authorities outside the U.S.;  
potential disruptions in regional registration behaviors due to catastrophic natural events or armed conflict;
changes in the level of spending for information technology-related products and services by our customers; and  
the uncertainties, costs and risks as a result of the sale of our Authentication Services business, including costs related to any retained liability related to existing and future claims or retained litigation.  

Our operating expenses may increase. If an increase in our expenses is not accompanied by a corresponding increase in our revenues, our operating results will suffer, particularly as revenues from some of our services are recognized ratably over the term of the service, rather than immediately when the customer pays for them, unlike our sales and marketing expenditures, which are expensed in full when incurred.
Due to all of the above factors, our revenues and operating results are difficult to forecast. Therefore, we believe that period-to-period comparisons of our operating results will not necessarily be meaningful and should not be relied upon as an indication of future performance. Also, operating results may fall below our expectations and the expectations of securities analysts or investors in one or more future periods. If this were to occur, the market price of our common stock would likely decline.

11

Table of Contents

Our operating results may continue to be adversely affected as a result of unfavorable market, economic, social and political conditions.
An unstable global economic, social and political environment may have a negative impact on demand for our services, our business and our foreign operations, including the ongoing hostilities in the Middle East, natural disasters, the eurozone crisis and the U.S. economic environment which is affected by the debt ceiling crisis and the renewed threats of ratings downgrades. For example, recently the ongoing economic instability in Europe has limited the rate of growth of the domain name base and may continue to do so in the future. In addition, the economic, social and political environment has or may negatively impact, among other things:  
our customers’ continued growth and development of their businesses and our customers’ ability to continue as going concerns or maintain their businesses, which could affect demand for our products and services;  
current and future demand for our services, including decreases as a result of reduced spending on information technology and communications by our customers;  
price competition for our products and services;  
the price of our common stock;  
our liquidity;  
our ability to service our debt, to obtain financing or assume new debt obligations;  
our ability to obtain payment for outstanding debts owed to us by our customers or other parties with whom we do business; and  
our ability to execute on any share repurchase plans.
In addition, to the extent that the economic, social and political environment impacts specific industry and geographic sectors in which many of our customers are concentrated, that may further negatively impact our business. If the market, economic, social and political conditions in the U.S. and globally do not improve, or if they further deteriorate, we may experience material adverse impacts on our business, operating results and financial position as a consequence of the above factors or otherwise.
The operation of our business depends on numerous factors.
The successful operation of our business depends on numerous factors, many of which are not entirely under our control, including, but not limited to, the following:  
the use of the Internet and other IP networks, and the extent to which domain names and the DNS are used for e-commerce and communications;  
changes in Internet user behavior, Internet platforms, mobile devices and web-browsing patterns;  
growth in demand for our services;  
the competition for any of our services;  
the perceived security of e-commerce and communications over the Internet;  
the perceived security of our services, technology, infrastructure and practices;  
the loss of customers through industry consolidation or customer decisions to deploy in-house or competitor technology and services;  
our continued ability to maintain our current, and enter into additional, strategic relationships;  
our ability to successfully market our services to new and existing distributors and customers;
our ability to develop new products, services or other offerings;  
our success in attracting, integrating, training, retaining and motivating qualified personnel;  
our response to competitive developments;  
the successful introduction, and acceptance by our current or new customers, of new products and services, including our NIA Services;
potential disruptions in regional registration behaviors due to catastrophic natural events and armed conflict;  
seasonal fluctuations in business activity;  
our ability to implement remedial actions in response to any attacks by nefarious actors; and  
the successful introduction of enhancements to our services to address new technologies and standards, alternatives to our products and services and changing market conditions.

12

Table of Contents

Substantially all of our revenue is derived from our Registry Services business. Limitations on our ability to raise prices on .com registrations could, materially and adversely affect our business and results of operations.
Our Registry Services business, which derives most of its revenues from registration fees for domain names, generates substantially all of our revenue. If there is a disruption in the Registry Services business, including any disruption from changes in the domain name industry, changes in or challenges to our agreements with ICANN, including any changes resulting from legal challenges to these agreements, changes in our customers’ or Internet users’ preferences, a downturn in the economy or changes in technology related to the use of domain names, there may be a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations. In addition, a failure of the DOC to approve the renewal of the .com Registry Agreement prior to the expiration of its current term on November 30, 2018 could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Under the terms of the . com Registry Agreement and the Cooperative Agreement, there is uncertainty whether the DOC will approve any exercise by the Company of its right to increase the price per .com domain name under certain circumstances and whether the Company will be able to successfully demonstrate to the DOC that market conditions warrant removal of the pricing restrictions on .com domain names, each of which could materially and adversely affect our business and results of operations. There is also uncertainty of future revenue and profitability and potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results due to the potential increase in expenses and costs coupled with such factors as restrictions on increasing prices under the .com Registry Agreement and the Cooperative Agreement.
Issues arising from our agreements with ICANN, the DOC and the GSA could harm our Registry Services business.
We are parties to agreements (i) with the DOC with respect to certain aspects of the DNS, (ii) with ICANN and the DOC as the exclusive registry of domain names within the .com gTLD and (iii) with ICANN with respect to being the exclusive registry for the .net and .name gTLDs.
We face risks arising from our agreements with ICANN and the DOC, including the following:  
ICANN could adopt or promote policies, including Consensus Policies, procedures or programs that are unfavorable to us as the registry operator of the .com , .net and .name gTLDs, that are inconsistent with our current or future plans, or that affect our competitive position;  
under certain circumstances, ICANN could terminate one or more of our agreements to be the registry for the .com , .net or .name gTLDs and the DOC could refuse to grant its approval to the renewal of the .com Registry Agreement, which, in the case of the .com and .net Registry Agreements, could have a material adverse impact on our business;  
the DOC’s or ICANN’s interpretation of provisions of our agreements with either of them could differ from ours;  
under certain circumstances, the GSA could terminate our agreement to be the registry for the .gov gTLD, which could have a material adverse impact on how the Registry Services business is perceived; and  
our Registry Services business faces, and could continue to face, legal or other challenges resulting from our activities or the activities of registrars and registrants, and any adverse outcome from such matters could have a material adverse effect on our business.
In addition, under the .com , . net and . name Registry Agreements, as well as the Cooperative Agreement with the DOC, we are prohibited from holding a greater than 15% ownership interest in any ICANN accredited registrar. This prohibition on cross-ownership currently applies to all eighteen ICANN gTLDs, but does not apply to ccTLDs. ICANN has adopted a proposal to allow the operators of new gTLDs to also own, be owned 100% by, or otherwise be affiliated with, a registrar. The impact of these changes to the distribution channel is uncertain but could have a material adverse effect on our business. In addition, ICANN has also adopted a procedure pursuant to which an operator of one of the existing eighteen ICANN gTLDs can apply to remove the cross-ownership restrictions with respect to new, but not existing gTLDs. If Verisign were to seek removal of the cross-ownership restriction with respect to new gTLDs, it is uncertain whether ICANN and/or the DOC approval would be obtained.
 

13

Table of Contents

Challenges to Internet administration could harm our Registry Services business.
Risks we face from challenges by third parties, including governmental authorities in the U.S. and other countries, to our role in the ongoing operation of the Internet include:  
legal, regulatory or other challenges could be brought, including challenges to the agreements governing our relationship with the DOC or ICANN, or to the legal authority underlying the roles and actions of the DOC, ICANN or us;  
the U.S. Congress could take action that is unfavorable to us;  
ICANN could fail to maintain its role, potentially resulting in instability in DNS administration; and  
some governments and governmental authorities outside the U.S. have in the past disagreed, and may in the future disagree, with the actions, policies or programs of ICANN, the U.S. Government and us relating to the DNS. The Affirmation of Commitments established several multi-party review panels and contemplates a greater involvement by foreign governments and governmental authorities in the oversight and review of ICANN. These periodic review panels may take positions that are unfavorable to Verisign.
As a result of these and other risks, it may be difficult for us to introduce new services in our Registry Services business and we could also be subject to additional restrictions on how this business is conducted, which may not also apply to our competitors.
Our international operations subject our business to additional economic risks that could have an adverse impact on our revenues and business.
As of December 31, 2012, we had 138, or 13%, of our employees outside the U.S. Expansion into international markets has required and will continue to require significant management attention and resources. We may also need to tailor some of our services for a particular market and to enter into international distribution and operating relationships. We have limited experience in localizing our services and in developing international distribution or operating relationships. We may not succeed in expanding our services into new international markets or expand our presence in existing markets. Failure to do so could harm our business. Moreover, local laws and customs in many countries differ significantly from those in the U.S. In many foreign countries, particularly in those with developing economies, it is common for others to engage in business practices that are prohibited by our internal policies and procedures or U.S. law or regulations applicable to us. There can be no assurance that all of our employees, contractors and agents will not take actions in violation of such policies, procedures, laws and/or regulations. Violations of laws, regulations or internal policies and procedures by our employees, contractors or agents could result in financial reporting problems, fines, penalties, or prohibition on the importation or exportation of our products and services and could have a material adverse effect on our business. In addition, we face risks inherent in doing business on an international basis, including, among others:  
competition with foreign companies or other domestic companies entering the foreign markets in which we operate;  
differing and uncertain regulatory requirements;  
legal uncertainty regarding liability, enforcing our contracts and compliance with foreign laws;  
tariffs and other trade barriers and restrictions;  
difficulties in staffing and managing foreign operations;  
longer sales and payment cycles;  
problems in collecting accounts receivable;  
currency fluctuations, as a small portion of our international revenues are not always denominated in U.S. dollars and some of our costs are denominated in foreign currencies;
high costs associated with repatriating profits to the U.S.;
potential problems associated with adapting our services to technical conditions existing in different countries;  
difficulty of verifying customer information;  
political instability;  
failure of foreign laws to protect our U.S. proprietary rights adequately;  
more stringent privacy policies in some foreign countries;  
additional vulnerability from terrorist groups targeting U.S. interests abroad;  
seasonal reductions in business activity;  
potentially conflicting or adverse tax consequences; and
reliance on third parties in foreign markets in which we only recently started doing business.

14

Table of Contents

We are exposed to risks faced by financial institutions.
The hedging transactions we have entered into expose us to credit risk in the event of default by one of our counterparties. Despite the risk control measures we have in place, a default by one of our counterparties, or liquidity problems in the financial services industry in general, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our marketable securities portfolio could experience a decline in market value, which could materially and adversely affect our financial results.
As of December 31, 2012, we had $1.6 billion in cash, cash equivalents, marketable securities and restricted cash, of which $1.4 billion was invested in marketable securities. The marketable securities consist primarily of debt securities issued by the U.S. Treasury and other U.S. government corporations and agencies meeting the criteria of our investment policy, which is focused on the preservation of our capital through the investment in investment grade securities. We currently do not use derivative financial instruments to adjust our investment portfolio risk or income profile.
These investments, as well as any cash deposited in bank accounts, are subject to general credit, liquidity, market and interest rate risks, which may be exacerbated by unusual events, such as the eurozone crisis and the U.S. debt ceiling crisis, which have affected various sectors of the financial markets and led to global credit and liquidity issues. Over the past several years, the volatility and disruption in the global credit market reached unprecedented levels. If the global credit market deteriorates further, our investment portfolio may be impacted and we could determine that some of our investments have experienced an other-than-temporary decline in fair value, requiring an impairment charge which could adversely impact our financial results.
Governmental regulation and the application of new and existing laws may slow business growth, increase our costs of doing business, create potential liability and have an adverse effect on our business.
Application of new and existing laws and regulations to the Internet and communications industry can be unclear. The costs of complying or failing to comply with these laws and regulations could limit our ability to operate in our current markets, expose us to compliance costs and substantial liability and result in costly and time-consuming litigation.
Foreign, federal or state laws could have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and our ability to conduct business in certain foreign countries. For example, laws designed to restrict who can register domain names, the on-line distribution of certain materials deemed harmful to children, on-line gambling (especially as we consider providing NIA Services and Registry Services to this sector), counterfeit goods, and cybersquatting; laws designed to require registrants to provide additional documentation or information in connection with domain name registrations; and laws designed to promote cyber security may impose significant additional costs on our business or subject us to additional liabilities. We have contracts pursuant to which we provide services to the U.S. government and even though these contracts are immaterial, they impose compliance costs, including compliance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation, which could be significant to the Company.
Due to the nature of the Internet, it is possible that state or foreign governments might attempt to regulate Internet transmissions or prosecute us for violations of their laws. We might unintentionally violate such laws, such laws may be modified and new laws may be enacted in the future. Any such developments could increase the costs of regulatory compliance for us, affect our reputation, force us to change our business practices or otherwise materially harm our business. In addition, any such new laws could impede growth of or result in a decline in domain name registrations, as well as impact the demand for our services.
 
We rely on third parties who maintain and control root zone servers and route Internet communications.
We currently administer and operate only two of the 13 root zone servers. The others are administered and operated by independent operators on a non-regulated basis. Root zone servers are name servers that contain authoritative data for the very top of the DNS hierarchy. These servers have the software and data needed to locate name servers that contain authoritative data for the TLDs. These root zone servers are critical to the functioning of the Internet. Consequently, our Registry Services business could be harmed if any of the independent operators fails to include or provide accessibility to the data that it maintains in the root zone servers that it controls, or if it or any of the third parties routing Internet communications presents inconsistent data for the TLDs or DNS generally.

15

Table of Contents

Changes in Internet user behavior, either as a result of evolving technologies or user practices, may impact the demand for domain names.
Currently, Internet users often navigate to a website either by directly typing its domain name into a web browser or through the use of a search engine. If (i) web browser or Internet search technologies were to change significantly; (ii) Internet search engines were to change the value of their algorithms on the use of a domain for finding a website; (iii) Internet users’ preferences or practices were to shift away from direct navigation; (iv) Internet users were to significantly increase the use of web and mobile device applications to locate and access content; or (v) Internet users were to increasingly use third level domains or alternate identifiers, such as social networking and microblogging sites, in each case the demand for domain names could decrease.
Changes in the level of spending on on-line advertising and/or the way that on-line networks compensate owners of websites could impact the demand for domain names.
Some domain name registrars and registrants seek to generate revenue through advertising on their websites; changes in the way these registrars and registrants are compensated (including changes in methodologies and metrics) by advertisers and advertisement placement networks, such as Google and Yahoo!Bing, have, and may continue to, adversely affect the market for those domain names favored by such registrars and registrants which has resulted in, and may continue to result in, a decrease in demand and/or the renewal rate for those domain names. For example, according to published reports, Google has in the past (and may in the future) changed its search algorithm and pay-per-click advertising policies to provide less compensation for certain types of websites. This has made such websites less profitable which has resulted in, and may continue to result in, fewer domain registrations and renewals. In addition, as a result of the general economic environment, spending on on-line advertising and marketing may not increase as projected or may be reduced, which in turn, may result in a further decline in the demand for those domain names.
Changes in state taxation laws and regulations may discourage the registration or renewal of domain names for e-commerce.
Many Internet merchants are not currently required to pay sales or other similar taxes in respect of shipments of goods into most states. However, state taxation laws and regulations may change in the future and one or more states may seek to impose sales tax collection obligations on out-of-state companies that engage in online commerce. For example, the State of Georgia passed a new law that requires certain online retailers to collect sales taxes starting October 1, 2012. The enactment of any such law in any state may impair the growth of e-commerce and discourage the registration or renewal of domain names for e-commerce.
Reduced marketing efforts or other operational changes among third party registrars or their resellers as a result of consolidation or changes in ownership, management, or strategy could harm our Registry Services business.
Third-party registrars and their resellers utilize substantial marketing efforts to increase the demand and/or renewal rates for domain names. Consolidation in the registrar or reseller industry or changes in ownership, management, or strategy among individual registrars or resellers could result in significant changes to their business, operating model and cost structure. Such changes could include reduced marketing efforts or other operational changes that could adversely impact the demand and/or the renewal rates for domain names. Our Registry Services business, which generates substantially all of our revenue, derives most of its revenues from registrations and renewals of domain names, and decreased demand for and/or renewals of domain names could cause a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
Undetected or unknown defects in our services could harm our business and future operating results.
Services as complex as those we offer or develop could contain undetected defects or errors. Despite testing, defects or errors may occur in our existing or new services, which could result in compromised customer data, loss of or delay in revenues, loss of market share, failure to achieve market acceptance, diversion of development resources, injury to our reputation, tort or warranty claims, increased insurance costs or increased service and warranty costs, any of which could harm our business. The performance of our services could have unforeseen or unknown adverse effects on the networks over which they are delivered as well as on third-party applications and services that utilize our services, which could result in legal claims against us, harming our business. Furthermore, we often provide implementation, customization, consulting and other technical services in connection with the implementation and ongoing maintenance of our services, which typically involves working with sophisticated software, computing and communications systems. Our failure or inability to meet customer expectations in a timely manner could also result in loss of or delay in revenues, loss of market share, failure to achieve market acceptance, injury to our reputation and increased costs.
 

16

Table of Contents

If we encounter system interruptions or failures, we could be exposed to liability and our reputation and business could suffer.
We depend on the uninterrupted operation of our various systems, secure data centers and other computer and communication networks. Our systems and operations are vulnerable to damage or interruption from:  
power loss, transmission cable cuts and other telecommunications failures;  
damage or interruption caused by fire, earthquake, and other natural disasters;  
attacks, including hacktivism, by hackers or nefarious actors;  
computer viruses or software defects;  
physical or electronic break-ins, sabotage, intentional acts of vandalism, terrorist attacks and other events beyond our control;
State suppression of Internet operations; and  
any failure to implement effective and timely remedial actions in response to any damage or interruption.
Most of our systems are located at, and most of our customer information is stored in, our facilities in New Castle, Delaware; Dulles, Virginia; and Fribourg, Switzerland. To the extent we are unable to partially or completely switch over to primary alternate or tertiary sites, any damage or failure that causes interruptions in any of these facilities or our other computer and communications systems could materially harm our business. Although we carry insurance for property damage, we do not carry insurance or financial reserves for interruptions or potential losses arising from terrorism.
In addition, our Registry Services business and certain of our other services depend on the efficient operation of the Internet connections from customers to our secure data centers and from our customers to the Shared Registration System. These connections depend upon the efficient operation of Internet service providers and Internet backbone service providers, all of which have had periodic operational problems or experienced outages in the past beyond our scope of control.
A failure in the operation of our TLD name zone servers, the domain name root zone servers, or other events could result in the deletion of one or more domain names from the Internet for a period of time or a misdirection of a domain name to a different server. In the event that a registrar has not implemented back-up services recommended by us in conformance with industry best practices, a failure in the operation of our Shared Registration System could result in the inability of one or more other registrars to register and maintain domain names for a period of time. A failure in the operation or update of the master database that we maintain could also result in the deletion of one or more TLDs from the Internet and the discontinuation of second-level domain names in those TLDs for a period of time or a misdirection of a domain name to a different server. Any of these problems or outages could decrease customer satisfaction, harming our business or resulting in adverse publicity that could adversely affect the market’s perception of the security of e-commerce and communications over the Internet as well as of the security or reliability of our services.
In addition, a failure in our NIA Services could have a negative impact on our reputation and our business could suffer.
If we experience security breaches, we could be exposed to liability and our reputation and business could suffer.
We retain certain customer and employee information in our secure data centers and various registration systems. It is critical to our business strategy that our facilities and infrastructure remain secure and are perceived by the marketplace to be secure. The Company, as an operator of critical infrastructure, is frequently targeted and experiences a high rate of attacks. These include the most sophisticated form of attacks, such as advanced persistent threat (“APT”) attacks and zero-hour threats, which means that the threat is not compiled or has been previously unobserved within our observation and threat indicators space until the moment it is launched, making these attacks virtually impossible to anticipate and difficult to defend against. The Shared Registration System, the domain name root zone servers and TLD name zone servers that we operate are critical hardware and software to our Registry Services operations. We expend significant time and money on the security of our facilities and infrastructure. Despite our security measures, we have been subject to a security breach, as first disclosed in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2011, and our infrastructure may in the future be vulnerable to physical break-ins, computer viruses, attacks by hackers or nefarious actors or similar disruptive problems, including hacktivism. It is possible that we may have to expend additional financial and other resources to address such problems. Any physical or electronic break-in or other security breach or compromise of the information stored at our secure data centers and domain name registration systems may jeopardize the security of information stored on our premises or in the computer systems and networks of our customers. In such an event, we could face significant liability, customers could be reluctant to use our services and we could be at risk for loss of various security and standards-based compliance certifications needed for certain of our businesses, all or any of which could adversely affect our reputation and harm our business. Such an occurrence could also result in adverse publicity and therefore adversely affect the market’s perception of the security of e-commerce and communications over the Internet as well as of the security or reliability of our services.

17

Table of Contents

We rely on our intellectual property, and any failure by us to protect, or any misappropriation of, our intellectual property could harm our business.
Our success depends in part on our internally developed technologies and intellectual property. Despite our precautions, it may be possible for a third party to copy or otherwise obtain and use our trade secrets or other forms of our intellectual property without authorization. Furthermore, the laws of foreign countries may not protect our proprietary rights in those countries to the same extent U.S. law protects these rights in the U.S. In addition, it is possible that others may independently develop substantially equivalent intellectual property. If we do not effectively protect our intellectual property, our business could suffer. Additionally, we have filed patent applications with respect to certain of our technology in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and patent offices outside the U.S. Patents may not be awarded with respect to these applications and even if such patents are awarded, such patents may not provide us with sufficient protection of our intellectual property. In the future, we may have to resort to litigation to enforce our intellectual property rights, to protect our trade secrets or to determine the validity and scope of the proprietary rights of others. This type of litigation, regardless of its outcome, could result in substantial costs and diversion of management attention and technical resources. Some of the software and protocols used in our business are based on standards set by standards setting organizations such as the Internet Engineering Task Force (“IETF”).  To the extent any of our patents are considered “standards essential patents,” we may be required to license such patents to our competitors on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.
 
We also license third-party technology that is used in our products and services to perform key functions. These third-party technology licenses may not continue to be available to us on commercially reasonable terms or at all. The loss of or our inability to obtain or maintain any of these technology licenses could hinder or increase the cost of our launching new products and services, entering into new markets and/or otherwise harm our business. Some of the software and protocols used in our Registry Services business are in the public domain, which means that such software and protocols are equally available to our competitors.
We rely on the strength of our Verisign brand to help differentiate ourselves in the marketing of our products. Dilution of the strength of our brand could harm our business. We are at risk that we will be unable to register, build equity in, or enforce the new logo for the Company.
We could become subject to claims of infringement of intellectual property of others, which could be costly to defend and could harm our business.
Claims relating to infringement of intellectual property of others or other similar claims have been made against us in the past and could be made against us in the future. It is possible that we could become subject to additional claims for infringement of the intellectual property of third parties. The international use of the Company’s logo could present additional potential risks for third party claims of infringement. Any claims, with or without merit, could be time consuming, result in costly litigation and diversion of technical and management personnel attention, cause delays in our business activities generally, or require us to develop a non-infringing logo or technology or enter into royalty or licensing agreements. Royalty or licensing agreements, if required, may not be available on acceptable terms or at all. If a successful claim of infringement were made against us, we could be required to pay damages or have portions of our business enjoined. If we could not identify and adopt an alternative non-infringing logo, develop non-infringing technology or license the infringed or similar technology on a timely and cost-effective basis, our business could be harmed.
A third party could claim that the technology we license from other parties infringes a patent or other proprietary right. Litigation between the licensor and a third party or between us and a third party could lead to royalty obligations for which we are not indemnified or for which indemnification is insufficient, or we may not be able to obtain any additional license on commercially reasonable terms or at all.
In addition, legal standards relating to the validity, enforceability, and scope of protection of intellectual property rights in Internet-related businesses are uncertain and still evolving. Because of the growth of the Internet and Internet-related businesses, patent applications are continuously being filed in connection with Internet-related technology. There are a significant number of U.S. and foreign patents and patent applications in our areas of interest, and we believe that there has been, and is likely to continue to be, significant litigation in the industry regarding patent and other intellectual property rights.
We could become involved in claims, lawsuits or investigations that may result in adverse outcomes.
In addition to possible intellectual property litigation and infringement claims, we are, and may in the future, become involved in other claims, lawsuits and investigations. Such proceedings may initially be viewed as immaterial but could prove to be material. Litigation is inherently unpredictable, and excessive verdicts do occur. Adverse outcomes in lawsuits and investigations could result in significant monetary damages, including indemnification payments, or injunctive relief that could adversely affect our ability to conduct our business and may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. Given the inherent uncertainties in litigation,  even when we are able to reasonably estimate the

18

Table of Contents

amount of possible loss or range of loss and therefore record an aggregate litigation accrual for probable and reasonably estimable loss contingencies, the accrual may change in the future due to new developments or changes in approach.  In addition, such investigations, claims and lawsuits could involve significant expense and diversion of management’s attention and resources from other matters. See Note 14, “Commitments and Contingencies” Legal Proceedings, of our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 15 of this 10-K for further information.
We must establish and maintain strategic, channel and other relationships.
One of our significant business strategies has been to enter into strategic or other similar collaborative relationships in order to reach a larger customer base than we could reach through our direct sales and marketing efforts, including in international markets. We may need to enter into additional relationships to execute our business plan. We may not be able to enter into additional, or maintain our existing, strategic relationships on commercially reasonable terms. If we fail to enter into additional relationships, we would have to devote substantially more resources to the distribution, sale and marketing of our services than we would otherwise.
Our success in obtaining results from these relationships will depend both on the ultimate success of the other parties to these relationships and on the ability of these parties to market our services successfully.
Furthermore, any changes by our distributors to their existing marketing strategies could have a material adverse effect on our business. Similarly, if one or more of our distributors were to encounter financial difficulties, or if there were a significant reduction in marketing expenditures by our distributors (including registrars or their resellers), as a result of industry consolidation or otherwise, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, including a decrease in domain name registrations and renewals. Failure of one or more of our strategic, channel or other relationships to result in the development and maintenance of a market for our services could harm our business. If we are unable to maintain our existing relationships or to enter into additional relationships, this could harm our business.
With the introduction of new gTLDs, many of our registrars, based upon their registrant needs, may choose to focus their short- or long-term marketing efforts on these new offerings, and if we are unable to maintain their focus on our products and services or move through them to engage the same registrants, this could harm our business.
 
We continue to explore new strategic initiatives, the pursuit of any of which may pose significant risks and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We are exploring a variety of possible strategic initiatives which may include, among other things, the pursuit of new revenue streams, services or products, changes to our offerings or initiatives to leverage our patent portfolio.

Any such strategic initiative may involve a number of risks, including: the diversion of our management’s attention from our existing business to develop the initiative, related operations and any requisite personnel; possible material adverse effects on our results of operations during and after the development process; and our possible inability to achieve the intended objectives of the initiative. Such initiatives may result in a reduction of cash or increased costs. We may not be able to successfully or profitably develop, integrate, operate, maintain and manage any such initiative and the related operations or employees in a timely manner or at all. Furthermore, under our agreements with ICANN, we are subject to certain restrictions in the operation of .com , .net and .name , including required ICANN approval of new registry services for such TLDs. If any new initiative requires ICANN review, we cannot predict whether this process will prevent us from implementing the initiative in a timely manner or at all.

The success of our NIA Services depends in part on the acceptance of our services.
We are investing in our NIA Services, and the future growth of these services depends, in part, on the commercial success, acceptance, and reliability of our NIA Services. These services will suffer if our target customers do not adopt or use these services. We are not certain that our target customers will choose our NIA Services or continue to use these services even after adoption.
We rely on third parties to provide products which are incorporated in our NIA Services.
The NIA Services incorporate and rely on third party hardware and software products, many of which have unique capabilities. If Verisign was unable to procure these third party products, the NIA Services may malfunction, not perform as well as they should perform, not perform as well as they have been performing or not perform as planned, and our business could suffer.

19

Table of Contents

Many of our target markets are evolving, and if these markets fail to develop or if our products and services are not widely accepted in these markets, our business could be harmed.
Our Registry Services and NIA Services businesses are developing services in emerging markets, including services that involve naming and directory services other than registry and related infrastructure services. These emerging markets are rapidly evolving, may never gain wide acceptance and may not grow. Even if these markets grow, our services may not be widely accepted. Accordingly, the demand for our services in these markets is very uncertain. The factors that may affect market acceptance of our services in these markets include the following:  
market acceptance of products and services based upon technologies other than those we use;  
public perception of the security of our technologies and of IP and other networks;  
the introduction and consumer acceptance of new generations of mobile devices;  
the ability of the Internet infrastructure to accommodate increased levels of usage; and  
government regulations affecting Internet access and availability, e-commerce and telecommunications over the Internet.
If the market for e-commerce and communications over IP and other networks does not grow or these services are not widely accepted in the market, our business could be materially harmed.
We depend on key employees to manage our business effectively, and we may face difficulty attracting and retaining qualified leaders.
We depend on the performance of our senior management team and other key employees, and we have experienced changes in our management team during the last few years. If we are unable to attract, integrate, retain and motivate these individuals and additional highly skilled technical and sales and marketing employees, and implement succession plans for these personnel, our business may suffer.

We have anti-takeover protections that may discourage, delay or prevent a change in control that could benefit our stockholders.
Our amended and restated Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws contain provisions that could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire us without the consent of our Board of Directors (“Board”). These provisions include:  
  our stockholders may take action only at a duly called meeting and not by written consent;  
special meetings of our stockholders may be called only by the chief executive officer, the president or our Board, and cannot be called by our stockholders;  
our Board must be given advance notice regarding stockholder-sponsored proposals for consideration at annual meetings and for stockholder nominations for the election of directors;  
vacancies on our Board can be filled until the next annual meeting of stockholders by majority vote of the members of the Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee, or a majority of directors then in office if no such committee exists, or a sole remaining director; and  
our Board has the ability to designate the terms of and issue new series of preferred stock without stockholder approval.
In addition, Section 203 of the General Corporation Law of Delaware prohibits a publicly held Delaware corporation from engaging in a business combination with an interested stockholder, generally a person which together with its affiliates owns or within the last three years has owned 15% or more of our voting stock, for a period of three years after the date of the transaction in which the person became an interested stockholder, unless in the same transaction the interested stockholder acquired 85% ownership of our voting stock (excluding certain shares) or the business combination is approved in a prescribed manner. Section 203 therefore may impact the ability of an acquirer to complete an acquisition of us after a successful tender offer and accordingly could discourage, delay or prevent an acquirer from making an unsolicited offer without the approval of our Board.
Changes in, or interpretations of, tax rules and regulations may adversely affect our effective tax rates.
We are subject to income taxes in both the U.S. and numerous foreign jurisdictions. Significant judgment is required in determining our worldwide provision for income taxes. In the ordinary course of our business, there are many transactions and calculations where the ultimate tax determination is uncertain. We are subject to audit by various tax authorities. Although we believe our tax estimates are reasonable, the final determination of tax audits and any related litigation could be materially different than that which is reflected in historical income tax provisions and accruals. Should additional taxes be assessed as a result of an audit or litigation, an adverse effect on our income tax provision and net income in the period or periods for which that determination is made could result.

20

Table of Contents

A significant portion of our foreign earnings for the current fiscal year were earned by our Swiss subsidiaries. Our effective tax rate could fluctuate significantly on a quarterly basis and could be adversely affected to the extent earnings are lower than anticipated in countries where we have lower statutory rates and higher than anticipated in countries where we have higher statutory rates.
Various legislative proposals that would reform U.S. corporate tax laws have been proposed by the Obama administration as well as members of Congress, including proposals that would significantly impact how U.S. multinational corporations are taxed on foreign earnings. We are unable to predict whether these or other proposals will be implemented. Although we cannot predict whether or in what form any proposed legislation may pass, if enacted, such legislation could have a material adverse impact on our tax expense or cash flow.
 
Our inability to indefinitely reinvest our foreign earnings could materially adversely affect our results of operations.
Deferred income taxes are not provided on most of the undistributed earnings of our foreign subsidiaries because these earnings are intended to be indefinitely reinvested and we do not plan to initiate any action that would precipitate the payment of income taxes thereon. We consider the following matters, among others, in evaluating our plans for indefinite reinvestment: the forecasts, budgets and financial requirements of the parent and subsidiaries for both the long and short term; the tax consequences of a decision to reinvest; and any U.S. and foreign government programs designed to influence remittances. If factors change and as a result we are unable to indefinitely reinvest the foreign earnings, the income tax expense and payments may differ significantly from the current period and could materially adversely affect our results of operations.
We may be exposed to potential risks if we do not have an effective system of disclosure controls or internal controls over financial reporting.
As a public company, we are subject to the rules and regulations of the SEC, including those that require us to report on and receive an attestation from our independent registered public accounting firm regarding our internal control over financial reporting. Despite our efforts, if we were to fail to maintain an effective system of disclosure controls or internal control over financial reporting, we may not be able to accurately or timely report on our financial results or adequately identify and reduce fraud. As a result, our financial position could be harmed and current and potential future stockholders could lose confidence in us and/or our reported financial results, which may cause a negative effect on our stock price, and we could be exposed to litigation or regulatory proceedings, which may be costly or divert management attention.
We are subject to the risks of owning real property.
We own the land and building in Reston, Virginia, which constitutes our headquarters facility. Ownership of this property, as well as our data centers in Sterling, Virginia and New Castle, Delaware, may subject us to risks, including:  
adverse changes in the value of the properties, due to interest rate changes, changes in the commercial property markets, or other factors;  
ongoing maintenance expenses and costs of improvements;  
the possible need for structural improvements in order to comply with zoning, seismic, disability law, or other requirements;  
the possibility of environmental contamination and the costs associated with fixing any environmental problems; and  
possible disputes with neighboring owners, service providers or others.
Risks relating to the competitive environment in which we operate
The business environment is highly competitive and, if we do not compete effectively, we may suffer price reductions, reduced gross margins and loss of market share.
General:  New technologies and the expansion of existing technologies may increase competitive pressure. We cannot assure that competing technologies developed by others or the emergence of new industry standards will not adversely affect our competitive position or render our services or technologies noncompetitive or obsolete. In addition, our markets are characterized by announcements of collaborative relationships involving our competitors. The existence or announcement of any such relationships could adversely affect our ability to attract and retain customers. As a result of the foregoing and other factors, we may not be able to compete effectively with current or future competitors, and competitive pressures that we face could materially harm our business.
Competition in Registry Services:  We face competition in the domain name registry space from other gTLD and ccTLD registries that are competing for the business of entities and individuals that are seeking to establish a Web presence, including registries offering services related to the .info, .org, .mobi, .biz, .pro, .aero, .museum, .coop and .xxx gTLDs and registries offering services related to ccTLDs. ICANN currently has registry agreements with 16 registries for the operation of 18

21

Table of Contents

gTLDs. In addition, there are over 250 Latin script ccTLD registries and 38 IDN ccTLD registries. Furthermore, under our agreements with ICANN, we are subject to certain restrictions in the operation of .com , .net and .name on pricing, bundling, methods of distribution, the introduction of new registry services and use of registrars that do not apply to ccTLDs and therefore may create a competitive disadvantage. If other registries launch marketing campaigns for new or existing TLDs, including forms of marketing campaigns that we are prohibited from running under the terms of our agreements with ICANN, which result in registrars or their resellers giving other TLDs greater prominence on their websites, advertising or marketing materials, we could be at a competitive disadvantage and our business could suffer.
We also face competition from service providers that offer outsourced domain name registration, resolution and other DNS services to organizations that require a reliable and scalable infrastructure. Among the competitors are Neustar, Inc., Afilias Limited, ARI Registry Services and Nominet UK, Inc. In addition, to the extent end-users navigate using search engines or social media, as opposed to direct navigation, we may face competition from search engine operators such as Google Inc., Microsoft Corporation, and Yahoo! Inc., operators of social networks such as Facebook, and operators of microblogging tools such as Twitter. Furthermore, to the extent end-users increase the use of web and phone applications to locate and access content, we may face competition from providers of such web and mobile applications.
Competition in Network Intelligence and Availability Services : Several of our current and potential competitors have longer operating histories and/or significantly greater financial, technical, marketing and other resources than we do and therefore may be able to respond more quickly than we can to new or changing opportunities, technologies, standards and customer requirements. Many of these competitors also have broader and more established distribution channels that may be used to deliver competing products or services directly to customers through bundling or other means. If such competitors were to bundle competing products or services for their customers, we may experience difficulty establishing or increasing demand for our products and services or distributing our products successfully.
We face competition in the network intelligence and availability services industry from companies or services such as iSight Partners, IBM X-Force, Secunia ApS, Dell SecureWorks, McAfee, Inc., Prolexic Technologies, Inc., AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications, Inc., Dyn, Inc., Neustar, Inc., OpenDNS, BlueCat Networks, Inc., Infoblox Inc., Nominum, Inc., Afilias Limited and Akamai Technologies, Inc.
We may face additional competition, operational and other risks from the introduction of new TLDs by ICANN, which could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
Additional competition to our business may arise from the introduction of new TLDs by ICANN. ICANN announced the introduction of new gTLDs, which include IDN gTLDs. On October 30, 2009, ICANN approved a fast track process for the awarding of new IDN ccTLDs and such new IDN ccTLDs have started to be introduced into the root. On June 13, 2012, ICANN announced it received 1930 applications to operate over 1400 unique new gTLDs, with new registration opportunities expected to be available beginning in 2013. We do not yet know the impact, if any, that these new domain extensions may have on our business, including if or how the introduction of these new gTLDs will affect registrations for .com and .net and therefore have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
Applicants for new gTLDs include companies which may have greater financial, marketing and other resources than we do, including companies that are existing competitors, domain name registrars and new entrants into the domain name industry. Furthermore, ICANN will allow the operators of new gTLDs to also own, be owned 100% by or otherwise affiliated with a registrar, whereas we are currently prohibited by our agreements with ICANN and the DOC from owning more than 15% of a registrar. As a result, operators of new gTLDs may be able to obtain competitive advantages through such vertical integration. ICANN has also approved a process pursuant to which an operator of an existing gTLD could apply to become a registrar with respect to a new gTLD. At least one gTLD operator has successfully used this process; however, it is uncertain whether ICANN and/or the DOC would approve the necessary changes to Verisign’s existing agreements to allow us to vertically integrate with respect to new gTLDs, in which case, we may be at a competitive disadvantage.
We have applied for 14 gTLDs, including 12 IDN gTLDs. There is no certainty that we will ultimately obtain these gTLDs, and even if we are successful in obtaining one or more of these new domain extensions, there is no guarantee that such extensions will be any more successful than the domain name extensions obtained by our competitors. Similarly, while we have entered into agreements to provide back-end registry services to other applicants for approximately 220 new gTLDs, there is no guarantee that such applicants with which we have entered into agreements will be successful in obtaining one or more of these new domain extensions or that such domain extensions will be successful. Furthermore, ICANN has stated that it will need to limit the maximum number of new gTLDs that may be delegated in a year to 1,000 which will delay the granting of some gTLDs. Even though IDN gTLDs have been given priority, other factors related to the application process that could delay or disrupt an application and the timing of revenue generation, if any, from these gTLDs. The timing of revenue may also be dependent on how diligently our customers proceed to delegation and launch following the completion of

22

Table of Contents

the application process and our customers’ respective launch plans for the new gTLDs.
In addition, our agreements to provide back-end registry services directly to other applicants and indirectly through reseller relationships expose us to operational and other risks. For example, the increase in the number of gTLDs for which we provide registry services on a standalone basis or as a back-end service provider could further increase costs or increase the frequency or scope of targeted attacks from nefarious actors. Finally, IDN TLDs face additional challenges in that current desktop and mobile device software does not ubiquitously recognize IDN TLDs and may be slow to adopt standards even if demand for such products is strong.
Our inability to react to changes in our industry and successfully introduce new products and services could harm our business.
The Internet and communications network services industries are characterized by rapid technological change and frequent new product and service announcements which require us continually to improve the performance, features and reliability of our services, particularly in response to competitive offerings or alternatives to our products and services. In order to remain competitive and retain our market share, we must continually improve our access technology and software, support the latest transmission technologies, and adapt our products and services to changing market conditions and our customers’ and Internet users’ preferences and practices, or launch entirely new products and services in anticipation of, or in response to, market trends. We cannot assure that we will be able to adapt to these challenges or anticipate or respond successfully or in a cost effective way to adequately meet them. Our failure to do so would adversely affect our ability to compete and retain customers or market share.
Risks related to the sale of our Authentication Services business and the completion of our divestitures
We face risks related to the terms of the sale of the Authentication Services business.
Under the agreement reached with Symantec for the sale of our Authentication Services business (the “Symantec Agreement”), we agreed to several terms that may pose risks to us, including the potential for confusion by the public with respect to Symantec’s right to use certain of our trademarks, brands and domain names, as well as the risk that current or potential investors in or customers of the Company may incorrectly attribute to the Company problems with Symantec products or services that currently use the VERISIGN brand pursuant to a license granted by the Company to Symantec. Any such confusion may have a negative impact on our reputation, our brand and the market for our products and services. In addition, we may determine that certain assets transferred to Symantec could have been useful in our Naming Services businesses or in other future endeavors, requiring us to forego future opportunities or design or purchase alternatives which could be costly and less effective than the transferred assets. Further, we may not be able to achieve the full strategic and financial benefits we expect from the sale of our Authentication Services business.
Under the terms of the Symantec Agreement, we have licensed rights to certain of our domain name registrations to Symantec. We are at risk that our customers will go to a URL for a licensed domain name and be unable to locate our Registry or NIA Services. In addition, we will continue to maintain the registration rights for the domain names licensed to Symantec for which Symantec has sole control over the displayed content, and we may be subject to claims of infringement if Symantec posts content that is alleged to infringe the rights of a third party.
We continue to be responsible for certain liabilities following the divestiture of certain businesses.
Under the agreements reached with the buyers of certain divested businesses, including the Authentication Services business, we remain liable for certain liabilities related to the divested businesses. There is a possibility that we will incur unanticipated costs and expenses associated with management of liabilities relating to the businesses we have divested, including requests for indemnification by the buyers of the divested businesses. These liabilities could potentially relate to (i) breaches of contractual representations and warranties we gave to the buyers of the divested businesses, or (ii) certain liabilities relating to the divested businesses that we retained under the agreements reached with the buyers of the divested businesses. Such liabilities could include certain litigation matters, including actions brought by third parties. Where responsibility for such liabilities is to be contractually allocated to the buyer or shared with the buyer or another party, it is possible that the buyer or the other party may be in default for payments for which they are responsible, obligating us to pay amounts in excess of our agreed-upon share of those obligations.
Following the divestiture of certain businesses, our ability to compete in certain market sectors is restricted.
Under the agreements reached with buyers for certain businesses we divested, including the Authentication Services business, we are restricted from competing, either directly or indirectly, with those businesses or from entering certain market sectors for a defined period of time pursuant to negotiated non-compete arrangements.

23

Table of Contents

Risks related to our securities
We have a considerable number of common shares subject to future issuance.
As of December 31, 2012, we had one billion authorized common shares, of which 153.4 million  shares were outstanding. In addition, of our authorized common shares, 18.0 million common shares were reserved for issuance pursuant to outstanding equity and employee stock purchase plans (“Equity Plans”), and 36.4 million shares were reserved for issuance upon conversion of the 3.25% junior subordinated convertible debentures due 2037 (the “Convertible Debentures”). As a result, we keep substantial amounts of our common stock available for issuance upon exercise or settlement of equity awards outstanding under our Equity Plans and/or the conversion of Convertible Debentures into our common stock. Issuance of all or a large portion of such shares would be dilutive to existing security holders, could adversely affect the prevailing market price of our common stock and could impair our ability to raise additional capital through the sale of equity securities.
Our financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected if we do not effectively manage our liabilities.
As a result of the sale of the Convertible Debentures, we have a substantial amount of long-term debt outstanding. In addition to the Convertible Debentures, we have a Facility with a borrowing capacity of $200.0 million. As of December 31, 2012, we had borrowed $100.0 million under the Facility. The availability of borrowing capacity under the Facility allows us immediate access to working capital if we identify opportunities for the use of this cash. Our maintenance of substantial levels of debt could adversely affect our flexibility to take advantage of corporate opportunities. The Facility is described in Note 7, “Debt and Interest Expense,” of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements of our 2012 Form 10-K.
We may not have the ability to repurchase the Convertible Debentures in cash upon the occurrence of a fundamental change, or to pay cash upon the conversion of Convertible Debentures; Occurrence of certain events related to our Convertible Debentures might have significant adverse accounting, disclosure, tax, and liquidity implications.
As a result of the sale of the Convertible Debentures, we have a substantial amount of debt outstanding. Holders of our outstanding Convertible Debentures will have the right to require us to repurchase the Convertible Debentures upon the occurrence of a fundamental change as defined in the Indenture dated as of August 20, 2007 (the “Indenture”) between the Company and U.S. Bank National Association, as Trustee. Although, in certain situations, the indenture requires us to pay this repurchase price in cash, we may not have sufficient funds to repurchase the Convertible Debentures in cash or have the ability to arrange necessary financing on acceptable terms or at all.
If in the future the Convertible Debentures become convertible, and, if holders elect to convert their Convertible Debentures, we are permitted under the Indenture to pursue an exchange in lieu of conversion or to settle the Settlement Amount (as defined in the Indenture) in cash, stock, or a combination thereof. We currently have the intent and the ability (based on current facts and circumstances) to settle the principal amount of the Convertible Debentures in cash. However, if the principal amount of the Convertible Debentures due to holders as a result of rights to convert or require repurchase exceeds our cash on hand and cash from operations, we will need to draw cash from existing financing or pursue additional sources of financing to settle the Convertible Debentures in cash. We cannot provide any assurances that we will be able to obtain new sources of financing on terms acceptable to us or at all, nor can we assure that we will be able to obtain such financing in time to settle the Convertible Debentures that holders elect to convert or require the Company to repurchase.
If we do not have adequate cash available, either from cash on hand, funds generated from operations or existing financing arrangements, or cannot obtain additional financing arrangements, we will not be able to settle the principal amount of the Convertible Debentures in cash and, in the case of settlement of conversion elections, will be required to settle the principal amount of the Convertible Debentures in stock. If we settle any portion of the principal amount of Convertible Debentures in stock, it will result in immediate dilution to the interests of existing security holders and the dilution could be material to such security holders.
If our intent to settle the principal amount in cash changes, or if we conclude that we no longer have the ability, in the future, we will be required to change our accounting policy for earnings per share from the treasury stock method to the if-converted method. Earnings per share will most likely be lower under the if-converted method as compared to the treasury stock method.

24

Table of Contents

If the amount paid (in cash or stock) to settle the Convertible Debentures (i.e., the Settlement Amount) is less than the adjusted issue price, under the Internal Revenue Code and the regulations thereunder, the difference is included in taxable income as recapture of previous interest deductions. The adjusted issue price grows over the term of the Convertible Debentures due to the difference between the interest deduction for tax, using a comparable yield rate of 8.5%, and the coupon rate of 3.25%, compounded annually. The settlement amount will vary based on the stock price at settlement date. Depending on the Settlement Amount for the Convertible Debentures at the settlement date, the amount included in taxable income as a result of this recapture could be substantial, which could adversely impact our cash flow.
A fundamental change may constitute an event of default or prepayment under, or result in the acceleration of the maturity of, our then-existing indebtedness. Our ability to repurchase the Convertible Debentures in cash or make any other required payments may be limited by law or the terms of other agreements relating to our indebtedness outstanding at the time. Our failure to repurchase the Convertible Debentures when required would result in an event of default with respect to the Convertible Debentures.


ITEM 1B.
UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

None.

ITEM 2.
PROPERTIES

Our corporate headquarters are located in Reston, Virginia. We have administrative, sales, marketing, research and development and operations facilities located in the U.S., Brazil, Europe, Asia, and Australia. As of December 31, 2012 , we owned approximately 454,000 square feet of space, which includes facilities in Reston and Dulles, Virginia and New Castle, Delaware. As of December 31, 2012 we leased approximately 65,000 square feet of space, primarily in the U.S. and to a lesser extent, in Europe and Asia Pacific. These facilities are under lease agreements that expire at various dates through 2017.
 
We believe that our existing facilities are well maintained and in good operating condition, and are sufficient for our needs for the foreseeable future. The following table lists our major locations and primary use as of December 31, 2012 :
 
 
Approximate
 
 
 
 
Square
 
 
Major Locations
 
Footage
 
Use
United States:
 
 
 
 
Reston, Virginia
 
221,000

 
Corporate Headquarters; and Naming Services
Dulles, Virginia
 
70,000

 
Naming Services
New Castle, Delaware
 
105,000

 
Naming Services
San Francisco, California
 
13,000

 
Naming Services; and Corporate Services
Europe:
 
 
 
 
Fribourg, Switzerland
 
8,000

 
Naming Services; and Corporate Services
Asia Pacific:
 
 
 
 
Bangalore, India
 
25,000

 
Naming Services; and Corporate Services

As of  December 31, 2012 , we had an aggregate of approximately 58,000 square feet that was owned by us and leased to third parties, which is not included in the table above.


ITEM 3.
LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
See Note 14, “Commitments and Contingencies,” Legal Proceedings , of our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 15 of this Form 10-K, which is incorporated herein by reference.
 
ITEM 4.
MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

Not applicable.



25

Table of Contents

EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF THE REGISTRANT

The following table sets forth information regarding our executive officers as of February 28, 2013:

Name
 
Age
 
Position
D. James Bidzos
 
57

 
Executive Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
George E. Kilguss, III
 
52

 
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Richard H. Goshorn
 
56

 
Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
Patrick S. Kane
 
50

 
Senior Vice President and General Manager, Naming Services
 
D. James Bidzos has served as Executive Chairman since August 2009 and President and Chief Executive Officer since August 2011. He served as Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer on an interim basis from June 2008 to August 2009 and served as President from June 2008 to January 2009. He served as Chairman of the Board since August 2007 and from April 1995 to December 2001. He served as Vice Chairman of the Board from December 2001 to August 2007. Mr. Bidzos served as a director of VeriSign Japan from March 2008 to August 2010 and served as Representative Director of VeriSign Japan from March 2008 to September 2008. Mr. Bidzos served as Vice Chairman of RSA Security Inc., an Internet identity and access management solution provider, from March 1999 to May 2002, and Executive Vice President from July 1996 to February 1999. Prior thereto, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of RSA Data Security, Inc. from 1986 to February 1999.

George E. Kilguss, III has served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since May 2012. From April 2008 to May 2012, he was the Chief Financial Officer of Internap Network Services Corporation, an IT infrastructure solutions company. From December 2003 to December 2007, he served as the Chief Financial Officer of Towerstream Corporation, a company that delivers high speed wireless Internet access to businesses using WiMAX microwave access. Mr. Kilguss holds an M.B.A. degree from the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business and a B.S. degree in Economics and Finance from the University of Hartford.
  Richard H. Goshorn  has served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary since June 2007. From October 2004 to May 2007, he served as General Counsel for Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP, an international law firm. From 2002 to 2003, Mr. Goshorn was Corporate Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Acterna Corporation Inc., a public communications test equipment company. From 1991 to 2001 he held a variety of senior executive legal positions with London-based Cable and Wireless PLC, a telecommunications company, including the position of Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Cable & Wireless Global. Mr. Goshorn holds a B.A. degree in Economics from the College of Wooster and a J.D. degree from Duke University School of Law.
 
Patrick S. Kane has served as Senior Vice President and General Manager, Naming Services, since January 2011. From October 2007 to December 2010, he served as Vice President and Assistant General Manager, Naming Services and from November 1999 to October 2007 he served as Director, Senior Product and Program Manager. Prior to joining Verisign, he served in many capacities with American Management Systems and Electronic Data Systems, where he began his career as a Systems Engineer. Mr. Kane holds a B.S. degree in Architectural Engineering from University of Texas at Austin.

26

Table of Contents

PART II  
 
ITEM 5.
MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
 
Price Range of Common Stock
 
Our common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “VRSN.” The following table sets forth, for the periods indicated, the high and low sales prices per share for our common stock as reported by the NASDAQ Global Select Market:

 
 
Price Range
 
 
High
 
Low
Year ended December 31, 2012:
 
 
 
 
Fourth Quarter
 
$
50.15

 
$
32.81

Third Quarter
 
$
49.40

 
$
40.99

Second Quarter
 
$
44.00

 
$
37.43

First Quarter
 
$
39.01

 
$
34.75

Year ended December 31, 2011:
 
 
 
 
Fourth Quarter
 
$
36.35

 
$
27.00

Third Quarter
 
$
35.18

 
$
27.00

Second Quarter
 
$
37.73

 
$
32.43

First Quarter
 
$
37.57

 
$
31.97


On February 22, 2013, there were 598 holders of record of our common stock. We cannot estimate the number of beneficial owners since many brokers and other institutions hold our stock on behalf of stockholders. On February 22, 2013, the reported last sale price of our common stock was $45.80 per share as reported by the NASDAQ Global Select Market.
 
The market price of our common stock has been and is likely to continue to be highly volatile and significantly affected by factors such as:
 
general market and economic conditions in the U.S., the eurozone and elsewhere;

market conditions affecting technology and Internet stocks generally;
 
announcements of earnings releases, material events, technological innovations, acquisitions or investments by us or our competitors;
 
developments in Internet governance; and
 
industry conditions and trends.

 
The market price of our common stock also has been and is likely to continue to be significantly affected by expectations of analysts and investors. Reports and statements of analysts do not necessarily reflect our views. To the extent we have met or exceeded analyst or investor expectations in the past does not necessarily mean that we will be able to do so in the future. In the past, securities class action lawsuits have often followed periods of volatility in the market price of a particular company’s securities. This type of litigation could result in substantial costs and a diversion of our management’s attention and resources. See Note 14, “Commitments and Contingencies, ” Legal Proceedings of our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 15 of this Form 10-K.

27

Table of Contents

 
On April 27, 2011, our Board declared a special cash dividend of $2.75 per share of our outstanding common stock totaling $463.5 million that was paid on May 18, 2011 to stockholders of record at the close of business on May 9, 2011. On December 9, 2010, our Board declared a special cash dividend of $3.00 per share of our outstanding common stock totaling $518.2 million that was paid on December 28, 2010 to stockholders of record at the close of business on December 20, 2010. Each of these special dividends was a means to return proceeds from our divestitures. Other than these special cash dividends, we have never declared or paid any cash dividends on our common stock or other securities. We continually evaluate the overall cash and investing needs of the business and consider the best uses for our cash, including investments in the strengthening of our infrastructure and growth opportunities for our business, as well as potential share repurchases.
 
Share Repurchases
 
The following table presents the share repurchase activity during the three months ended December 31, 2012:
 
Total Number
of Shares
Purchased
 
Average
Price Paid
per Share
 
Total Number
of Shares
Purchased as
Part of Publicly
Announced
Plans or
Programs (1)
 
Approximate
Dollar Value of
Shares That May
Yet Be Purchased
Under the Plans or
Programs (1)
 
(Shares in thousands)
October 1 – 31, 2012
499

 

$48.21

 
499

 
$586.3 million
November 1 – 30, 2012
850

 

$40.66

 
850

 
$551.7 million
December 1 – 31, 2012
945

 

$37.00

 
945

 
$975.5 million
 
2,294

 
 
 
2,294

 
 
 
(1)
On December 5, 2012, the Board authorized the repurchase of up to $458.8 million in our common stock, in addition to $541.2 million remaining available under the previous 2010 Share Buyback Program for a total purchase authorization of $1.0 billion of our common stock (collectively “the 2012 Share Buyback Program”). The 2012 Share Buyback Program has no expiration date. Purchases made under the 2012 Share Buyback Program could be effected through open market transactions, block purchases, accelerated share repurchase agreements or other negotiated transactions. As of December 31, 2012 , there was $975.5 million remaining for future share repurchases under the 2012 Share Buyback Program.


28

Table of Contents

Performance Graph
 
The information contained in the Performance Graph shall not be deemed to be “soliciting material” or “filed” with the SEC or subject to the liabilities of Section 18 of the Exchange Act, except to the extent that we specifically incorporate it by reference into a document filed under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), or the Exchange Act.
 
The following graph compares the cumulative total stockholder return on our common stock, the Standard and Poor’s (“S&P”) 500 Index, and the S&P 500 Information Technology Index. The graph assumes that $100 was invested in our common stock, the S&P 500 Index and the S&P 500 Information Technology Index on December 31, 2007, and calculates the return annually through December 31, 2012. The stock price performance on the following graph is not necessarily indicative of future stock price performance.


 
12/31/07

12/31/08

12/31/09

12/31/10

12/31/11

12/31/12

VeriSign, Inc
$
100

$
51

$
64

$
95

$
112

$
121

S&P 500 Index
$
100

$
63

$
80

$
92

$
94

$
109

S&P 500 Information Technology Index
$
100

$
57

$
92

$
101

$
104

$
119



29

Table of Contents

ITEM 6.
SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
 
The following table sets forth selected financial data as of and for the last five fiscal years. The information set forth below is not necessarily indicative of results of future operations, and should be read in conjunction with Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” and our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 15 of this Form 10-K, to fully understand factors that may affect the comparability of the information presented below.  

  Selected Consolidated Statements of Operations Data: (in millions, except per share data)
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2012
 
2011 (1)
 
2010 (2)
 
2009 (3)
 
2008 (4)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
     Revenues
$
874

 
$
772

 
$
681

 
$
616

 
$
559

Operating income
$
457

 
$
329

 
$
232

 
$
160

 
$
(26
)
     Income from continuing operations
$
312

 
$
139

 
$
70

 
$
92

 
$
32

     Income from continuing operations per share:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
          Basic
$
1.99

 
$
0.84

 
$
0.39

 
$
0.48

 
$
0.16

          Diluted
$
1.91

 
$
0.83

 
$
0.39

 
$
0.48

 
$
0.16

     Cash dividend declared and paid per share
$

 
$
2.75

 
$
3.00

 
$

 
$

 ———————
(1)
Income from continuing operations for 2011 is reduced by pre-tax amounts of $15.5 million in restructuring charges and $100.0 million in contingent interest paid to holders of our Convertible Debentures, as a result of the special dividend to stockholders.
(2)
Income from continuing operations for 2010 is reduced by pre-tax amounts of $16.9 million in restructuring charges and $109.1 million in contingent interest paid to holders of our Convertible Debentures, as a result of the special dividend to stockholders.
(3)
Income from continuing operations for 2009 is reduced by pre-tax amounts of $9.7 million of an impairment charge related to our .name gTLD and $5.4 million in restructuring charges
(4)
Income from continuing operations for 2008 is reduced by pre-tax amounts of $29.4 million in restructuring charges, and a loss of $79.1 million on the sale of a portion of our Mountain View facilities, offset by a pre-tax gain on sale of $77.8 million, upon the divestiture of our remaining 49% ownership interest in the Jamba joint ventures.

Consolidated Balance Sheet Data: (in millions)
 
As of December 31,
 
2012
 
2011
 
2010
 
2009
 
2008
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities (1) (2)
$
1,556

 
$
1,346

 
$
2,061

 
$
1,477

 
$
789

Total assets (2)
$
2,062

 
$
1,856

 
$
2,444

 
$
2,470

 
$
2,367

Deferred revenues (3)
$
813

 
$
729

 
$
663

 
$
888

 
$
845

Convertible debentures, including contingent interest derivative
$
598

 
$
590

 
$
582

 
$
574

 
$
569

Long-term debt
$
100

 
$
100

 
$

 
$

 
$

——————
(1)
2010 amounts include partial proceeds from the sale of the Authentication Services business.
(2)
Cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities and total assets decreased from 2010 to 2011 because of a dividend payment of $463.5 million on May 18, 2011.
(3) Amounts in 2009 and 2008 include deferred revenues of the Authentication Services business which was sold in 2010.

30

Table of Contents


ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
 
This Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, among other things, statements regarding our anticipated costs and expenses and revenue mix. Forward-looking statements include, among others, those statements including the words “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “believes” and similar language. Our actual results may differ significantly from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Factors that might cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, those discussed in the section titled “Risk Factors” in Part I, Item 1A of this Form 10-K. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this Form 10-K. We undertake no obligation to publicly release any revisions to the forward-looking statements or reflect events or circumstances after the date of this document.

Overview
We are a provider of Internet infrastructure services. By leveraging our global infrastructure, we provide network confidence and availability for mission-critical Internet services, such as domain name registry services and infrastructure assurance services. Our service capabilities enable real-time resolution for a number of global TLDs, enable domain name registration through registrars and provide security intelligence and cloud-based network availability services to enterprise customers.
Our business consists of one reportable segment, Naming Services, which consists of Registry Services and NIA Services. Registry Services is the registry operator for all . com , . net , . cc , . tv , and . name domain names and also operates the back-end systems for all . gov , . jobs and . edu domain names. As of December 31, 2012 , we had approximately 121.1 million domain names registered under the . com and . net registries, our principal registries. The number of domain names registered is largely driven by continued growth in online advertising, e-commerce, and the number of Internet users, which is partially driven by greater availability of broadband, as well as advertising and promotional activities carried out by us and third-party registrars. Recently, growth in the number of domain names has been hindered by certain factors, including the overall economic conditions in Europe and changes to search algorithms used by Google and other Internet search engines that negatively affect the profitability of certain types of websites, and as a result, reduce demand for new domain name registrations and renewals. Although growth in absolute number of registrations remains greatest in the U.S., growth on an annual percentage basis is expected to be greatest in markets outside of the U.S. over the long-term. NIA Services provides infrastructure assurance services to organizations and is comprised of iDefense, Managed DNS, and DDoS Protection Services. Revenues from NIA Services are not significant in relation to our consolidated revenue.
2012 Business Highlights and Trends
On November 30, 2012, the DOC approved the renewal of our revised agreement with ICANN to serve as the authoritative registry operator for the . com registry. The revised agreement includes new provisions regarding pricing, indemnification, audit rights and service levels. The term of the agreement is from December 1, 2012 through November 30, 2018. See “Industry Regulation” in Item 1 for additional information about this agreement.
We recorded revenues of $873.6 million , an increase of 13% as compared to 2011. The increase was primarily due to a 6% year-over-year increase in active domain names ending in .com and .net and increases in our .com and .net registry fees in July 2010 and January 2012.
We recorded operating income of $457.3 million , an increase of 39% as compared to 2011, primarily due to an increase in our revenues as well as a reduction in general and administrative expenses and restructuring expenses as we realized the effect of post-divestiture cost savings and completed the 2010 Restructuring Plan.
We repurchased 7.7 million shares of our common stock for an aggregate cost of $314.6 million in 2012. On December 5, 2012, the Board authorized the repurchase of up to $458.8 million of our common stock, in addition to $541.2 million remaining available under the previous 2010 Share Buyback Program for a total repurchase authorization of $1.0 billion of our common stock (collectively “the 2012 Share Buyback Program”). As of December 31, 2012, there was $975.5 million remaining for future share repurchases under the 2012 Share Buyback Program.

31

Table of Contents

We generated cash flows from operating activities of $537.6 million , an increase of 60% as compared to 2011. The increase was primarily due to the payment of $100.0 million of contingent interest to the holders of our Convertible Debentures during 2011, and an increase in cash received from customers resulting from revenue growth in 2012.
In 2012, we purchased $2.6 billion of marketable securities. Sales and maturities of marketable securities were $1.2 billion. Substantially all of the purchases, sales and maturities of marketable securities in 2012 consisted of U.S. Treasury bills with maturities of less than one year.
On December 19, 2012, we announced that as of July 1, 2013, the registry fee for . net domain names will increase from $5.11 to $5.62.

Critical Accounting Policies and Significant Management Estimates
 
The discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations are based upon our Consolidated Financial Statements, which have been prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. The preparation of these financial statements requires management to make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses, and related disclosures of contingent assets and liabilities. On an ongoing basis, management evaluates those estimates. Management bases its estimates on historical experience and on various assumptions that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets and liabilities that are not readily available from other sources. Actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions.
 
An accounting estimate is considered critical if the nature of the estimates or assumptions is material due to the levels of subjectivity and judgment involved, and the impact of changes in the estimates and assumptions would have a material effect on the consolidated financial statements. We believe the following critical accounting estimates and policies have the most significant impact on our consolidated financial statements:
 
Revenue recognition
 
We generate revenues by providing services over a period of time. Fees for these services are deferred and recognized as performance occurs. The majority of our revenue transactions contain standard business terms and conditions. However, at times, we enter into non-standard arrangements including multiple-element arrangements. As a result, we must evaluate (1) whether an arrangement exists; (2) how the arrangement consideration should be allocated among the deliverables; (3) when to recognize revenue on the deliverables; and (4) whether all elements of the arrangement have been delivered. Our revenue recognition policy also requires an assessment as to whether collection is reasonably assured, which requires us to evaluate the creditworthiness of our customers.
  
Fair value of financial instruments
 
Our Convertible Debentures have a contingent interest payment provision that is identified as an embedded derivative. The embedded derivative is accounted for separately at fair value, and is marked to market at the end of each reporting period. We utilize a valuation model based on stock price, bond price, risk adjusted interest rates, volatility, and credit spread observations to estimate the value of the derivative. Several of these inputs to the model are not observable and require management judgment.
 
 
Litigation and contingencies
 
Liabilities for loss contingencies are based on management’s judgment as to the likelihood of an unfavorable outcome and the potential amount of loss incurred. A liability is recorded when a loss is considered probable and the amount can be reasonably estimated. These liabilities are based largely on estimates that require significant judgment. If actual results differ from these estimates, our results of operations could be materially affected in future periods when the contingencies are resolved.
 
Income taxes
 
Accounting for income taxes requires significant judgments in the development of estimates used in income tax calculations. Such judgments include, but are not limited to, the likelihood we would realize the benefits of net operating loss carryforwards, domestic and/or foreign tax credit carryforwards, the adequacy of valuation allowances, and the rates used to measure transactions with foreign subsidiaries. To the extent recovery of deferred tax assets is not likely, we record a valuation allowance to reduce our deferred tax assets to the amount that is more likely than not to be realized.

32

Table of Contents

 
Our operations involve dealing with uncertainties and judgments in the application of complex tax regulations in multiple jurisdictions. The final taxes payable are dependent upon many factors, including negotiations with taxing authorities in various jurisdictions and resolution of disputes arising from U.S. federal, state, and international tax audits. We only recognize or continue to only recognize tax positions that are more likely than not to be sustained upon examination. We adjust these amounts in light of changing facts and circumstances; however, due to the complexity of some of these uncertainties, the ultimate resolution may result in a payment that is materially different from our current estimate of the tax liabilities.
 
Deferred income taxes have not been provided on the undistributed earnings of foreign subsidiaries because these earnings have been indefinitely reinvested and we do not plan to initiate any action that would precipitate the payment of income taxes thereon. We consider the following matters, among others, in evaluating our plans for indefinite reinvestment: the forecasts, budgets and financial requirements of the parent and subsidiaries for both the long and short term; the tax consequences of a decision to reinvest; and any U.S. and foreign government programs designed to influence remittances. If factors change and as a result we are unable to indefinitely reinvest the foreign earnings, the income tax expense and payments may differ significantly from the current period and could materially adversely affect our results of operations.
Earnings per Share
We use the treasury stock method to calculate the impact of our Convertible Debentures on diluted earnings per share. Under this method, only a positive conversion spread related to the Convertible Debentures is included in the diluted earnings per share calculations. This is based on our intent and ability to settle the principal amount of the Convertible Debentures in cash. A change in our intent and ability would require us to use the if-converted method, which could have a material impact on our diluted earnings per share.


Results of Operations
The following table presents information regarding our results of operations as a percentage of revenues:
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2012
 
2011
 
2010
Revenues
100
 %
 
100
 %
 
100
 %
Costs and expenses:
 
 

 
 
Cost of revenues
19

 
21

 
23

Sales and marketing
11

 
13

 
12

Research and development
7

 
7

 
8

General and administrative
11

 
14

 
20

Restructuring charges

 
2

 
3

Total costs and expenses
48

 
57

 
66

Operating income
52

 
43

 
34

Interest expense
(6
)
 
(19
)
 
(23
)
Non-operating income, net
1

 
1

 
3

Income from continuing operations before income taxes
47

 
25

 
14

Income tax expense
(11
)
 
(7
)
 
(4
)
Income from continuing operations, net of tax
36

 
18

 
10

Income from discontinued operations, net of tax
1

 
1

 
112

Net income
37
 %
 
19
 %
 
122
 %

33


Revenues
Revenues related to our Registry Services are primarily derived from registrations for domain names in the .com, .net, .cc, .tv , . name, .gov, and .jobs domain name registries. Revenues from .cc, .tv, .name, .gov, and .jobs are not significant in relation to our consolidated revenue. For domain names registered with the .com  and .net registries, we receive a fee from third-party registrars per annual registration that is fixed pursuant to our agreements with ICANN. Individual customers, called registrants, contract directly with third-party registrars or their resellers, and the third-party registrars in turn register the .com , .net , .cc , .tv , .name and .jobs domain names with Verisign. Changes in revenues are driven largely by increases in the number of new domain name registrations and the renewal rate for existing registrations as well as the impact of new and prior price increases, to the extent permitted, by ICANN and the DOC. New registrations and the renewal rate for existing registrations are impacted by continued growth in online advertising, e-commerce, and the number of Internet users, which is partially driven by greater availability of broadband, as well as advertising and promotional activities carried out by us and third-party registrars. On January 15, 2012, we increased our .com domain name registration fees by 7% from $7.34 to $7.85 and . net domain name registration fees by 10% from $4.65 to $5.11. We have the contractual right to increase the fees for .net domain name registrations by up to 10% each year during the term of our . net agreement with ICANN through June 30, 2017. The price of . com domain names is fixed at $7.85 for the duration of the new . com Registry Agreement through November 30, 2018, except that prices may be raised by up to 7% each year due to the imposition of any new Consensus Policy or documented extraordinary expense resulting from an attack or threat of attack on the Security and Stability (each as defined in the . com Registry Agreement) subject to approval of the DOC. On December 19, 2012, we announced that effective July 1, 2013, the registry fee for . net domain names will increase from $5.11 to $5.62. We offer promotional marketing programs for our registrars based upon market conditions and the business environment in which the registrars operate. All revenues paid to us for .com and .net registrations are in U.S. dollars. Revenues from NIA Services are not significant in relation to our total consolidated revenue.
A comparison of revenues is presented below:
 
2012

%
Change

2011

%
Change

2010
 
(Dollars in thousands)
Revenues
$
873,592

 
13
%
 
$
771,978

 
13
%
 
$
680,578

The following table compares domain names ending in .com and .net managed by our Registry Services business:
 
 
December 31, 2012
 
%
Change
 
December 31, 2011
 
%
Change
 
December 31, 2010
Active domain names ending in .com  and .net
121.1 million
 
6
%
 
113.8 million
 
8
%
 
105.2 million

Our revenues increased by $ 101.6 million in 2012, as compared to 2011, primarily due to a an $87.6 million increase in revenues from the operation of the registries for the . com and . net TLDs and a $13.8 million increase in other revenues comprised of NIA services, other TLDs, and data hosting services. The increase in revenues from the . com and . net TLDs was due to a 6% year-over-year increase in the number of domain names ending in .com and .net and increases in our .com and .net registry fees in July 2010 and January 2012 as per our agreements with ICANN. Our revenues increased by $91.4 million in 2011, as compared to 2010, primarily due to an 8% year-over-year increase in the number of domain names ending in .com and .net and increases in our .com and .net registry fees in July 2010 as per our agreements with ICANN.
The growth in the number of active domain names was primarily driven by continued Internet growth and new domain name promotional programs. We expect to see continued growth in the number of active domain names in 2013 as a result of further Internet growth. In addition, while we expect to see continued growth internationally in both . com and . net domain name bases, especially in markets that we have targeted through our marketing programs, recently the ongoing economic instability in Europe has limited the rate of growth of the domain name base and may continue to do so in the future. Further, according to published reports, in 2012 Google made, and may continue to make changes to its search algorithm and pay-per-click advertising policies to provide less compensation for certain types of websites. This could make such websites less profitable and we believe has resulted in fewer domain registrations. Moreover, we believe that some first time renewing websites affected by this change did not renew during 2012. Although growth in the domain name base may be limited by these factors, we expect revenues will continue to increase in fiscal 2013 as compared to fiscal 2012 as a result of continued growth in the number of active domain names ending in . com and . net and the implementation of the . net price increase which will become effective in July 2013.

34


Mature markets such as the U.S., where broadband and e-commerce have seen strong market penetration, are expected to see decreasing incremental growth rates reflecting the maturing of the markets. Future revenue growth in EMEA may be hindered due to the unfavorable economic conditions in Europe. We expect to see larger increases in certain international regions, resulting from greater broadband and Internet penetration and expanding e-commerce as electronic means of payments are increasingly adopted. Presentation of geographic revenues is included in Note 10, “Geographic and Customer Information,” of our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 15 of this Form 10-K.
During the first half of 2012, ICANN began the application process for new gTLDs, including new IDN gTLDs. The application period closed in May 2012, and new domain name registration opportunities for a portion of the approved new gTLDs are expected to be available in 2013. We applied for 14 new gTLDs including 12 transliterations of . com and . net. In addition, applicants for approximately 220 new gTLDs selected us to provide back-end registry services. We cannot predict whether we will be successful in becoming the registry for all or any of the gTLDs for which we submitted applications or whether any of the 220 applications for which we would serve as the back-end service provider will be successful. We also cannot predict whether there will be any delays in ICANN’s approval process. For example, ICANN has stated that it will need to limit the maximum number of new gTLDs that may be delegated in a year to 1,000. The application process and availability of domain name registrations for approved new gTLDs applied for by Verisign or Verisign’s customers, and the timing of revenue generation, if any, from these gTLDs is uncertain. We do not expect to generate significant revenues, if any, from new gTLDs before 2014.
We cannot assess the impact, if any, the introduction of these new gTLDs will have on our revenues and results of operations. See Item 1A. “Risk Factors—We may face additional competition, operational and other risks from the introduction of new TLDs by ICANN, which could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations,” of this Form 10-K.
Cost of revenues
Cost of revenues consist primarily of salaries and employee benefits expenses for our personnel who manage the operational systems, depreciation expenses, operational costs associated with the delivery of our services, fees paid to ICANN, customer support and training, consulting and development services, costs of facilities and computer equipment used in these activities, telecommunications expense and allocations of indirect costs such as corporate overhead.
A comparison of cost of revenues is presented below:
 
 
2012
 
%
Change
 
2011
 
%
Change
 
2010
 
(Dollars in thousands)
Cost of revenues
$
167,600

 
1
%
 
$
165,246

 
5
%
 
$
156,676


2012 compared to 2011: Cost of revenues increased primarily due to increases in direct cost of revenues, salary and employee benefits expenses, including stock-based compensation expenses, partially offset by a decrease in depreciation expenses. Direct cost of revenues increased by $2.8 million, primarily due to increased registry fees required to be paid in the new . tv and . com Registry Agreements which became effective in 2012, and an increase in data hosting costs. Salary and employee benefits expenses, including stock-based compensation, increased by $1.9 million, primarily due to an increase in the average headcount to support our Registry Services business and continued growth of our NIA Services business, partially offset by a reduction in the estimated payout of fiscal 2012 bonuses and a decrease in stock-based compensation due to additional vested RSUs granted to option holders during 2011 as they did not participate in the May 2011 and December 2010 special cash dividends. Depreciation expenses decreased by $3.4 million, primarily due to the acceleration of depreciation on an abandoned software project in 2011 and a change in the estimated useful lives of computer hardware and equipment assets from three years to four years beginning in 2012.

2011 compared to 2010: Cost of revenues increased primarily due to increases in salary and employee benefits expenses, depreciation expenses, telecommunication expenses, contract and professional services expenses, and direct cost of revenues, partially offset by a decrease in allocated overhead expenses. Salary and employee benefits expenses increased by $7.4 million, primarily due to an increase in average headcount to support Registry Services, and an increase in stock-based compensation expenses due to additional vested RSUs granted during 2011 to option holders as they did not participate in the December 2010 and May 2011 special cash dividends. Depreciation expenses increased by $3.0 million, primarily due to an increase in capitalized hardware and software purchased to support investments in infrastructure projects. Telecommunication expenses increased by $2.8 million, primarily due to additional circuits required to support the increase in our network infrastructure. Contract and professional services expenses increased by $1.2 million, primarily due to an increased need for temporary staff. Direct cost of revenues increased by $1.1 million, primarily due to costs for a new data hosting service. Allocated overhead expenses decreased by $5.7 million, primarily due to a decrease in allocable indirect costs.

35


We expect cost of revenues as a percentage of revenues to increase slightly in 2013 as compared to 2012 primarily due to an increase in registry fees for the . com and . tv TLDs and an increase in depreciation expenses.
Sales and marketing
Sales and marketing expenses consist primarily of salaries, sales commissions, sales operations and other personnel-related expenses, travel and related expenses, gTLD application costs, trade shows, costs of lead generation, costs of computer and communications equipment and support services, facilities costs, consulting fees, costs of marketing programs, such as online, television, radio, print and direct mail advertising costs, and allocations of indirect costs such as corporate overhead.
A comparison of sales and marketing expenses is presented below:
 
2012
 
%
Change
 
2011
 
%
Change
 
2010
 
(Dollars in thousands)
Sales and marketing
$
97,809

 
 
$
97,432

 
17
%
 
$
83,390


2012 compared to 2011: Sales and Marketing expenses remained consistent with an increase in salary and employee benefits expenses, as well as fees paid to ICANN for new gTLD applications offset by a decrease in consulting and advertising expenses. Salary and employee benefits expenses increased by $4.2 million, primarily due to an increase in the average headcount related to the expansion of the international marketing team for our Registry Services business and growth of our NIA sales team, partially offset by a decrease in the estimated payout for fiscal 2012 bonuses and stock-based compensation expenses due to additional vested RSUs granted during 2011 to option holders as they did not participate in the December 2010 and May 2011 special cash dividends. During 2012, we applied for 14 new gTLDs and incurred fees of $2.6 million related to those applications. Consulting and advertising expenses decreased by $7.1 million, primarily due to consulting costs related to the new gTLD program and product marketing initiatives promoting Registry Services during 2011.

2011 compared to 2010: Sales and marketing expenses increased primarily due to increases in advertising and consulting expenses and salary and employee benefits expenses, partially offset by a decrease in allocated overhead expenses. Advertising and consulting expenses increased by $8.1 million, primarily due to increases in product marketing initiatives promoting Registry Services. Salary and employee benefits expenses increased by $7.8 million, primarily due to an increase in average headcount of our sales force and an increase in stock-based compensation expenses due to additional vested RSUs granted during 2011 to option holders as they did not participate in the December 2010 and May 2011 special cash dividends. Allocated overhead expenses decreased by $3.1 million, primarily due to a decrease in allocable indirect costs and a decrease in proportional headcount within the sales and marketing function as a result of the divestiture of the Authentication Services business.
 
We expect sales and marketing expenses as a percentage of revenues to decrease slightly in 2013 as compared to 2012, due to our continued focus on effectively managing our expenses.
Research and development
Research and development expenses consist primarily of costs related to research and development personnel, including salaries and other personnel-related expenses, consulting fees, facilities costs, computer and communications equipment, support services used in our service and technology development, and allocations of indirect costs such as corporate overhead.
A comparison of research and development expenses is presented below:
 
2012
 
%
Change
 
2011
 
%
Change
 
2010
 
(Dollars in thousands)
Research and development
$
61,694

 
16
%
 
$
53,277

 
(1
)%
 
$
53,664


2012 compared to 2011: Research and development expenses increased primarily due to increases in salary and employee benefits expenses, including stock-based compensation expenses, and contract and professional services expenses, partially offset by an increase in capitalized labor. Salary and employee benefits expenses, including stock-based compensation expenses, increased by $6.6 million, primarily due to an increase in average headcount to support the development of our DNS infrastructure and new services, partially offset by a decrease in the estimated payout of fiscal 2012 bonuses. Contract and professional services expenses increased by $3.0 million, primarily to support projects in our NIA Services business. Capitalized labor increased by $2.1 million, primarily due to an increase in the volume of work performed on internally developed software projects.


36


2011 compared to 2010: Research and development expenses decreased primarily due to a decrease in allocated overhead expenses and an increase in capitalized labor, partially offset by increases in salary and employee benefits expenses and contract and professional services expenses. Allocated overhead expenses decreased by $3.4 million, primarily due to a decrease in allocable indirect costs. Capitalized labor increased by $1.3 million, primarily due to an increase in the volume of work performed on internally developed software projects. Salary and employee benefits expenses increased by $2.5 million, primarily due to an increase in average headcount to support the development of our DNS infrastructure and new services. Contract and professional services expenses increased by $1.1 million in 2011, primarily due to an increased need for temporary staff.
 
We expect research and development expenses as a percentage of revenues to remain consistent in 2013 as compared to 2012.
General and administrative
General and administrative expenses consist primarily of salaries and other personnel-related expenses for our executive, administrative, legal, finance, information technology and human resources personnel, costs of facilities, computer and communications equipment, management information systems, support services, professional services fees, certain tax and license fees, and bad debt expense, offset by allocations of indirect costs such as facilities and shared services expenses to other cost types.
A comparison of general and administrative expenses is presented below:
 
2012
 
%
Change
 
2011
 
%
Change
 
2010
 
(Dollars in thousands)
General and administrative
$
89,927

 
(19
)%
 
$
111,122

 
(19
)%
 
$
137,704


2012 compared to 2011: General and administrative expenses decreased primarily due to decreases in salary and employee benefits expenses, including stock-based compensation, contract and professional services expenses, occupancy expenses, receipts from the settlement of indemnification claims with the former shareholders of an acquired business, and an increase in overhead expenses allocated to other cost types, partially offset by increases in depreciation expenses, legal expenses, and miscellaneous general and administrative expenses. Salary and employee benefits expenses decreased by $15.6 million, including a $4.4 million decrease in stock-based compensation, primarily due to the reduced headcount in corporate support functions subsequent to the divestiture of the Authentication Services business and a reduction in estimated payout of fiscal 2012 bonuses. Stock-based compensation expenses also decreased due to additional vested RSUs granted to option holders during 2011 as they did not participate in the May 2011 and December 2010 special cash dividends, partially offset by $1.4 million of stock-based compensation expense for fully vested RSUs granted to members of the Board of Directors during 2012. Contract and professional services expenses decreased by $4.9 million, primarily due to reductions in consulting services expenses and reductions in temporary staffing upon completion of the transition of certain corporate functions from California to Virginia in 2011. Occupancy expenses decreased by $6.3 million, primarily due to lower rent expense as we exited leased facilities in Mountain View, California and Dulles, Virginia and purchased our corporate headquarters facility in Reston, Virginia during 2011. In the fourth quarter of 2012, we recognized a credit of $4.5 million related to reimbursements of previously incurred legal costs, received upon settlement of indemnification claims with the selling shareholders of a previously acquired business. Overhead expenses allocated to other cost types increased by $1.6 million, primarily due to a decrease in the relative headcount of the general and administrative function compared to other functions subsequent to the completion of the 2010 Restructuring Plan and the transition of corporate functions from California to Virginia. Depreciation expenses increased by $3.2 million primarily due to the additional depreciation related to our new corporate headquarters. Legal expenses increased by $5.2 million primarily due to an insurance recovery in 2011 related to a certain legal matter as well as legal and other support related to the DOC’s review of the renewal of our . com Registry Agreement with ICANN and legal advice related to ICANN’s new gTLD program in 2012. Miscellaneous expenses increased by $4.8 million primarily due to the release of $5.9 million of liabilities related to non-income tax expenses as a result of the lapse of the statutes of limitations during 2011.

2011 compared to 2010: General and administrative expenses decreased primarily due to decreases in salary and employee benefits expenses, occupancy expenses, miscellaneous general and administrative expenses, depreciation expenses, contract and professional services expenses, telecommunication expenses, and equipment and software expenses, partially offset by a decrease in overhead expenses allocated to other cost types. Salary and employee benefits expenses decreased by $18.2 million, primarily as a result of reduced corporate support functions needed subsequent to the divestiture of the Authentication Services business. Occupancy expenses decreased by $7.3 million, primarily due to lower rent expenses as the lease for certain office buildings expired in 2010. Miscellaneous general and administrative expenses decreased by $3.5 million, primarily due to the release of $5.9 million of liabilities in 2011 related to non-income tax expenses as a result of the

37


lapse of the statutes of limitations, partially offset by certain adjustments in 2010 for a release of an accrual for certain non-income tax contingencies when the statute of limitations expired. Depreciation expenses decreased by $3.1 million, primarily due to ceasing further depreciation on corporate assets held for sale in May 2010, the expenses of which were classified in continuing operations until the third quarter of 2010. Contract and professional services expenses decreased by $3.0 million, primarily due to costs in 2010 to support the divestiture of the Authentication Services business. Telecommunication expenses decreased by $1.6 million, primarily due to lower shared costs included in continuing operations as a result of divestitures. Equipment and software expenses decreased by $1.6 million, primarily due to lower shared software costs subsequent to the divestiture of the Authentication Services business. Overhead expenses allocated to other cost types decreased by $12.1 million, primarily due to a decrease in allocable indirect costs.

We expect general and administrative expenses as a percentage of revenues to decrease slightly in 2013 as compared to 2012, due to our continued focus on effectively managing our expenses.
Restructuring charges
See Note 6, “Restructuring Charges,” of our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 15 of this Form 10-K.
Interest expense
Interest expense consists of contractual interest payments on Convertible Debentures, amortization of debt discount and debt issuance costs on the liability component of our Convertible Debentures, contingent interest payments to holders of our Convertible Debentures, interest expenses related to our current $200.0 million senior unsecured revolving credit facility, offset by capitalized interest.
 
A comparison of interest expense is presented below:
 
Year Ended December 31,
2012
 
2011
 
2010
 
(In thousands)
Contractual interest on Convertible Debentures
$
40,625

 
$
40,625

 
$
40,625

Amortization of debt discount on the Convertible Debentures
7,986

 
7,355

 
6,775

Contingent interest to holders of Convertible Debentures

 
100,020

 
109,113

Interest capitalized to Property and equipment, net
(934
)
 
(980
)
 
(676
)
Credit facility and other interest expense
2,519

 
312

 
1,830

     Total interest expense
$
50,196

 
$
147,332

 
$
157,667

The Indenture governing the Convertible Debentures requires the payment of contingent interest to the holders of the Convertible Debentures if the Board declares a dividend to our stockholders that is designated by the Board as an extraordinary dividend. The contingent interest is calculated as the amount derived by multiplying the per share declared dividend with the if-converted number of shares applicable to the Convertible Debentures. The Board declared extraordinary dividends in April 2011 and December 2010, and consequently, we paid $100.0 million and $109.1 million contingent interest, respectively, to holders of the Convertible Debentures.
Non-operating income, net
See Note 12, “Non-operating income, net” of our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 15 of this Form 10-K.
Income tax expense
 
Year Ended December 31,
2012
 
2011
 
2010
 
(Dollars in thousands)
Income tax expense from continuing operations
$
100,210

 
$
55,031

 
$
25,322

Effective tax rate
24
%
 
28
%
 
27
%

Our effective tax rate for 2012 was lower than the statutory federal rate of 35% primarily due to tax benefits from foreign income taxed at lower rates and a decrease in valuation allowances related to deferred tax assets, partially offset by state income taxes and non-deductible stock based compensation.

38



Our effective tax rate for 2011 was lower than the statutory federal rate of 35% primarily due to tax benefits from foreign income taxed at lower rates, partially offset by an increase in the accrual for uncertain tax positions, tax expense related to a foreign currency transaction gain realized on the distribution of previously taxed income, state income taxes and non-deductible stock based compensation.
    
Our effective tax rate for 2010 was lower than the statutory federal rate of 35% primarily due to tax benefits from foreign income taxed at lower rates and a change in estimated tax expense related to a divested business, partially offset by an increase in accruals for uncertain tax positions, state income taxes and non-deductible stock-based compensation.

As of December 31, 2012, we had deferred tax assets arising from deductible temporary differences, tax losses, and tax credits of $138.1 million before the offset of certain deferred tax liabilities. With the exception of deferred tax assets related to book and tax bases differences of certain investments and certain foreign net operating loss carryforwards, we believe it is more likely than not that forecasted income, together with the tax effects of the deferred tax liabilities, will be sufficient to fully recover the remaining deferred tax assets. Our deferred tax assets related to net operating loss carryforwards increased in 2012 primarily due to a tax rate change, resulting from the expiration of a tax holiday in one of the jurisdictions in Switzerland. This increase in deferred tax assets was partially offset by an increase in the corresponding valuation allowance which resulted from the tax rate change. The impact of this tax rate change on our deferred tax assets and the offsetting valuation allowance, together with the release of valuation allowances related to investments with differing book and tax bases, reduced income tax expense by $5.3 million in 2012.
 
We qualify for a tax holiday in Switzerland until 2015 which provides reduced rates of taxation on certain types of income and also requires certain thresholds of investment and employment. Another tax holiday specific to one of the jurisdictions in Switzerland expired on December 31, 2011, increasing our tax rate from 12.7% to 25.5%. In India, our exemption related to the Software Technology Park of India (“STPI”) tax program expired on March 31, 2011. Following the expiration, we are subject to the regular statutory tax rate of 33% in India. These tax holidays increased our diluted earnings per share by $0.11 in 2012, $0.06 in 2011, and $0.12 in 2010.
Income from discontinued operations, net of tax
See Note 4, “Discontinued Operations,” of our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 15 of this Form 10-K.

Liquidity and Capital Resources
 
As of December 31,
 
2012
 
2011
 
(In thousands)
Cash and cash equivalents
$
130,736

 
$
1,313,349

Marketable securities
1,425,700

 
32,860

Total
$
1,556,436

 
$
1,346,209

As of December 31, 2012 , our principal source of liquidity was $130.7 million of cash and cash equivalents and $1.4 billion of marketable securities. The marketable securities consist primarily of debt securities issued by the U.S. Treasury and other U.S. government corporations and agencies meeting the criteria of our investment policy, which is focused on the preservation of our capital through investment in investment grade securities. The cash equivalents consist mainly of amounts invested in money market funds and U.S. Treasury bills purchased with original maturities of less than 90 days.
The change in the mix of our cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities from 2011 to 2012 is primarily due to $1.4 billion of purchases of U.S. Treasury bills (net of sales and maturities) during 2012, using funds held by foreign subsidiaries. All of the U.S. Treasury bills purchased have contractual maturities of less than one year. Approximately $33.0 million of marketable securities held as of December 31, 2012 have contractual maturities between one year and three years. Our cash and cash equivalents are readily accessible. For additional information on our investment portfolio, see Note 2, “Cash, Cash Equivalents, and Marketable Securities,” of our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 15 of this Form 10-K.

39


As of December 31, 2012 , the amount of cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities held by foreign subsidiaries was $1.3 billion. Our intent is to indefinitely reinvest outside of the U.S. those funds held by foreign subsidiaries that have not been previously taxed in the U.S. Currently, we do not anticipate that we will need funds that were generated from foreign operations to fund our domestic operations. In the event funds from foreign operations are needed to fund operations in the U.S. and if U.S. tax has not already been provided, we would be required to accrue and pay additional U.S. taxes in order to repatriate these funds.
We purchased marketable securities of $2.6 billion and received $1.2 billion from sales and maturities of marketable securities in 2012. We purchased marketable securities of $79.0 million and received $546.0 million from sales and maturities of marketable securities in 2011. We purchased marketable securities of $787.7 million and received $284.6 million from sales and maturities of marketable securities in 2010.
In 2012, we repurchased 7.7 million shares of our common stock at an average stock price of $40.90 for an aggregate cost of $314.6 million. In 2011, we repurchased approximately 16.3 million shares of our common stock at an average stock price of $32.76 for an aggregate cost of $534.6 million. In 2010, we repurchased approximately 15.7 million shares of our common stock at an average stock price of $27.93 for an aggregate cost of $437.7 million. As of December 31, 2012, $975.5 million remained available for further repurchases under the 2012 Share Buyback Program.
In 2011 we declared and paid a special cash dividend of $2.75 per share of our common stock totaling $463.5 million. As a result of the dividend, we also paid $100.0 million in contingent interest to holders of our Convertible Debentures. In 2010, we declared and paid a special dividend of $3.00 per share of our common stock totaling $518.2 million. As a result of the dividend, we also paid $109.1 million in contingent interest to holders of our Convertible Debentures.
In 2011, we entered into a $200.0 million senior unsecured revolving credit facility and borrowed $100.0 million from this facility in connection with the purchase of our new corporate headquarters building in Reston, Virginia for approximately $118.5 million. Our credit facility is discussed in more detail in Note 7 “Debt and Interest Expense.” 2011 Credit Facility , of our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 15 of this Form 10-K.
As of December 31, 2012, we had $1.25 billion principal amount outstanding of 3.25% Convertible Debentures due 2037 (See Note 7 “Debt and Interest Expense” of the accompanying consolidated financial statements). The Convertible Debentures will mature in August 2037, unless earlier repurchased, redeemed or converted. Our Convertible Debentures were convertible at the option of each holder during the three months ending December 31, 2012, as our common stock price exceeded the conversion price threshold during the relevant measuring period for the three months ended September 30, 2012. Accordingly, as at September 30, 2012, we reclassified the carrying value of the debt component of the Convertible Debentures, the related embedded derivative, and deferred tax liabilities from long-term liabilities to current liabilities, and the associated unamortized debt issuance costs from long-term assets to current assets. Our common stock price did not exceed the conversion price threshold during the relevant measuring period for the three months ended December 31, 2012, and consequently, the Convertible Debentures are no longer convertible starting January 1, 2013, until one of the conversion criteria is met in the future. Accordingly, as at December 31, 2012, we reclassified the carrying value of the debt component of the Convertible Debentures, the related embedded derivative, and deferred tax liabilities back to long-term liabilities, and the associated unamortized debt issuance costs back to long-term assets. In future fiscal periods, the Convertible Debentures related liabilities and assets will be classified as current or long-term depending on whether any of the conversion criteria is met or not at the end of that fiscal period.
We believe existing cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities, and funds generated from operations, together with our ability to arrange for additional financing should be sufficient to meet our working capital, capital expenditure requirements, and to service our debt for the next 12 months. We regularly assess our cash management approach and activities in view of our current and potential future needs.

In summary, our cash flows for 2012, 2011, and 2010 were as follows:
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2012
 
2011
 
2010
 
(In thousands)
Net cash provided by operating activities
$
537,630

 
$
335,901

 
215,206

Net cash (used in) provided by investing activities
(1,442,353
)
 
273,242

 
603,090

Net cash used in financing activities
(277,752
)
 
(852,198
)
 
(745,274
)
Effect of exchange rate changes on cash and cash equivalents
(138
)
 
(3,224
)
 
9,440

Net (decrease) increase in cash and cash equivalents
$
(1,182,613
)
 
$
(246,279
)
 
$
82,462



40


Net cash provided by operating activities
 
Our largest source of operating cash flows is cash collections from our customers. Our primary uses of cash from operating activities are for personnel related expenditures, and other general operating expenses, as well as payments related to taxes, interest and facilities.
 
2012 compared to 2011: Cash provided by operating activities increased in 2012 primarily due to an increase in cash received from customers, the payment of $100.0 million of contingent interest to the holders of our Convertible Debentures during 2011, and a decrease in cash paid to employees and vendors, partially offset by an increase in cash paid for income taxes during 2012. Cash received from customers increased as the result of growth in sales during 2012, while cash paid to employees and vendors decreased due to a reduction in operating expenses in 2012. The increase in income taxes paid in 2012 was due primarily to an increase in income tax payments made by our foreign subsidiaries.

2011 compared to 2010: Cash provided by operating activities increased primarily due to higher income taxes payable in 2010, primarily upon the gain resulting from the sale of the Authentication Services business, before consideration of carried forward excess tax benefits from exercises of stock options and vesting of RSUs and a decrease in cash payments to suppliers and employees. The increase was offset by a decrease in cash received from customers resulting from a decrease in consolidated revenues due to the divestiture of the Authentication Services business in 2010.

Net cash (used in) provided by investing activities
 
The changes in cash flows from investing activities primarily relate to divestiture of businesses, timing of purchases, maturities and sales of investments, and purchases of property and equipment.
 
2012 compared to 2011: The change in cash (used in) provided by investing activities is primarily due to $1.4 billion of purchases of marketable securities (net of sales and maturities) during 2012 compared to $467.0 million of sales and maturities of marketable securities (net of purchases) in 2011 and a decrease in purchases of property and equipment primarily due to the purchase of our corporate headquarters in Reston, Virginia for $118.5 million in 2011.

2011 compared to 2010: The decrease in cash provided by investing activities is primarily due to proceeds received from the divestiture of businesses in 2010, and the purchase of our corporate headquarters in Reston, Virginia in 2011, partially offset by an increase in sales and maturities of marketable securities and investments and a decrease in purchases of marketable securities.

Net cash used in financing activities
 
The changes in cash flows from financing activities primarily relate to share repurchases, borrowings from our credit facility, stock option exercises, our employee stock purchase plan (“ESPP”), excess tax benefits from stock-based compensation, and dividend payments.
 
2012 compared to 2011: Net cash used in financing activities decreased primarily due to the payment of a special cash dividend in 2011, a decrease in the amount of share repurchases made during 2012, and an increase in excess tax benefits from exercises of stock options and vesting of RSUs in 2012, partially offset by $100.0 million borrowed under our credit facility in 2011, and a decrease in proceeds from stock option exercises and the ESPP.
   
2011 compared to 2010: Net cash used in financing activities increased primarily due to an increase in share repurchases and a decrease in realized excess tax benefits from exercises of stock options and vesting of RSUs. The increase is partially offset by $100.0 million borrowed under our credit facility in 2011 and a lower special dividend paid in 2011 compared to 2010.

Impact of Inflation
 
We believe that inflation has not had a significant impact on our operations during 2012, 2011 and 2010.

41


 
Income taxes
As of December 31, 2012, we have used the majority of our U.S. federal net operating loss carryforwards. As such, we expect the amount of cash paid for domestic income taxes to increase in 2013, although this increase is expected to be partially offset by the increasing benefit from the interest deduction related to our Convertible Debentures. The interest expense deducted for income tax purposes is based on the adjusted issue price of the Convertible Debentures which grows over the term due to the difference between the interest deduction taken for income tax purposes, using a comparable yield of 8.5%, and the coupon rate of 3.25%, compounded annually. As a result, the amount of interest deducted is expected to grow each year, while the interest recognized in accordance with GAAP, will grow at a slower rate. This difference will result in a continuing increase in the long-term deferred tax liability on our Consolidated Balance Sheet.

If the amount paid (in cash or stock) to settle the Convertible Debentures (i.e., the Settlement Amount) is less than the adjusted issue price, under the Internal Revenue Code and the regulations thereunder, the difference is included in taxable income as recapture of previous interest deductions. The Settlement Amount will vary based on the stock price at settlement date. Depending on the Settlement Amount for the Convertible Debentures at the settlement date, the amount included in taxable income as a result of this recapture could be substantial, which could adversely impact our cash flow.

Property and Equipment Expenditures
 
Our planned property and equipment expenditures for 2013 are anticipated to be between $60 million and $80 million and will primarily be focused on infrastructure upgrades and enhancements to our product portfolio.

Contractual Obligations
 
See Note 14, “Commitments and Contingencies, ” Purchase Obligations and Contractual Agreements , of our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 15 of this Form 10-K.  

We enter into indemnification agreements with many of our customers in the ordinary course of business. We also entered into indemnification agreements with Symantec in connection with the sale of the Authentication Services business. See Note 14, “Commitments and Contingencies,” Indemnifications , of our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 15 of this Form 10-K.
 
Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements
 
It is not our business practice to enter into off-balance sheet arrangements. As of December 31, 2012, we did not have any significant off-balance sheet arrangements. See Note 14, “Commitments and Contingencies,” Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements , of our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 15 of this Form 10-K for further information regarding off-balance sheet arrangements.
 
Dilution from Convertible Debentures, RSUs and Stock Options
The conversion of our Convertible Debentures may dilute the holdings of existing shareholders due to the potential number of shares that could be required to settle the Convertible Debentures. We have the intent and ability to settle the principal amount of the Convertible Debentures in cash, but the excess of the conversion value over the principal amount (“the conversion spread”) may be settled in shares of common stock. As of December 31, 2012, there are 36.4 million shares of common stock reserved for issuance upon conversion or repurchase of the Convertible Debentures. Based on the if-converted value of the Convertible Debentures as of December 31, 2012, the conversion spread could have required us to issue up to 4.2 million shares of common stock. See Item 1A. “Risk Factors—We may not have the ability to repurchase the Convertible Debentures in cash upon the occurrence of a fundamental change, or to pay cash upon the conversion of Convertible Debentures; Occurrence of certain events related to our Convertible Debentures might have significant adverse accounting, disclosure, tax, and liquidity implications,” of this Form 10-K.
Grants of stock-based awards are key components of the compensation packages we provide to attract and retain certain of our talented employees and align their interests with the interests of existing stockholders. We recognize that these stock-based awards dilute existing stockholders and have sought to control the number granted while providing competitive compensation packages. As of December 31, 2012, there are a total of 2.9 million unvested RSUs and outstanding stock options which represent potential dilution of 1.9%. This maximum potential dilution will only result if all outstanding options vest and are exercised and all RSUs vest and are settled. There were no stock options granted in 2012 or 2011. In recent years, our stock repurchase program has more than offset the dilutive effect of our stock option and RSU programs; however, we may reduce the level of our stock repurchases in the future as we may use our available cash for other purposes.

42


ITEM 7A.
QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK
 
We are exposed to financial market risks, including changes in interest rates, foreign exchange rates and market risks. We have not entered into any market risk sensitive instruments for trading purposes.
 
Interest rate sensitivity
 
The interest rates on our revolving credit facility are affected by changes in market interest rates. As of December 31, 2012, we had $100.0 million outstanding under our credit facility. A hypothetical change in interest rates by 100 basis points would not have a significant impact on our interest expense in 2013.

Our marketable securities consist of fixed income securities which are subject to interest rate risk. As of December 31, 2012 we had $1.5 billion of fixed income securities, which consisted primarily of U.S. Treasury bills with maturities of less than one year. A hypothetical change in interest rates by 100 basis points would not have a significant impact on the fair value of our investments.

Foreign exchange risk management
 
We conduct business throughout the world and transact in multiple foreign currencies. Our foreign currency risk management program is designed to mitigate foreign exchange risks associated with monetary assets and liabilities of our operations that are denominated in non-functional currencies. The primary objective of this program is to minimize the gains and losses to income resulting from fluctuations in exchange rates. We may choose not to hedge certain foreign exchange exposures due to immateriality, prohibitive economic cost of hedging particular exposures, and limited availability of appropriate hedging instruments. We do not enter into foreign currency transactions for trading or speculative purposes, nor do we hedge foreign currency exposures in a manner that entirely offsets the effects of changes in exchange rates. The program may entail the use of forward or option contracts, which are usually placed and adjusted monthly. These foreign currency forward contracts are derivatives and are recorded at fair market value. We attempt to limit our exposure to credit risk by executing foreign exchange contracts with financial institutions that have investment grade ratings.
 
As of December 31, 2012, we held foreign currency forward contracts in notional amounts totaling $40.2 million to mitigate the impact of exchange rate fluctuations associated with certain foreign currencies. Changes in the value of the U.S. dollar relative to the foreign currency derivatives outstanding would be largely offset by the remeasurement of our foreign currency denominated monetary and non-monetary assets and liabilities resulting in an insignificant net impact to income.
 
A hypothetical uniform 10% strengthening or weakening in the value of the U.S. dollar relative to the foreign currencies in which our revenues and expenses are denominated would not result in a significant impact to our financial statements.
 
Market risk management
 
The fair market value of our Convertible Debentures is subject to interest rate risk and market risk due to the convertible feature of the debentures. Generally, the fair market value of fixed interest rate debt will increase as interest rates fall and decrease as interest rates rise. The fair market value of the Convertible Debentures will also increase as the market price of our stock increases and decrease as the market price of our common stock falls. The interest and market value changes affect the fair market value of the Convertible Debentures but do not impact our financial position, cash flows or results of operations. As of December 31, 2012, the fair value of the Convertible Debentures was approximately $1.6 billion , based on available market information from public data sources.
 
The fair market value of the contingent interest derivative on Convertible Debentures is also subject to interest rate risk and market risk. Generally, the fair market value of the contingent interest derivative will change due to changes in interest rates as well as due to changes in the fair market value of the Convertible Debentures.


43

Table of Contents

ITEM 8.      FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA
 
Financial Statements
 
Verisign’s financial statements required by this Item are set forth as a separate section of this Form 10-K. See Item 15 for a listing of financial statements provided in the section titled “Financial Statements.”
 
Supplementary Data (Unaudited)
 
The following tables set forth unaudited supplementary quarterly financial data for the two year period ended December 31, 2012 . In management’s opinion, the unaudited data has been prepared on the same basis as the audited information and includes all adjustments (consisting only of normal recurring adjustments) necessary for a fair presentation of the data for the periods presented.
 
2012
 
Quarter Ended
Year Ended
 
March 31
 
June 30
 
September 30
 
December 31 (2)
 
December 31,
 
(In thousands, except per share data)
     Revenues
$
205,726

 
$
214,142

 
$
223,528

 
$
230,196

 
$
873,592

     Gross Profit
$
164,470

 
$
171,298

 
$
182,068

 
$
188,156

 
$
705,992

     Operating Income
$
98,930

 
$
106,980

 
$
116,062

 
$
135,355

 
$
457,327

     Net income
$
68,009

 
$
68,472

 
$
77,910

 
$
105,641

 
$
320,032

     Net income per share (1):
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
          Basic
$
0.43

 
$
0.43

 
$
0.50

 
$
0.68

 
$
2.04

          Diluted
$
0.42

 
$
0.42

 
$
0.47

 
$
0.65

 
$
1.95

——————
(1)
Net income per share for the year is computed independently and may not equal the sum of the quarterly net income (loss) per share.
(2)
Net income for the quarter ended December 31, 2012 includes pre-tax benefits of $13.6 million primarily related to reimbursements of litigation and defense costs, received upon settlement with the selling shareholders of a previously acquired business, $5.5 million related to a reduction in the estimated bonus payout, and a $7.6 million unrealized gain due to a decrease in the fair value of the embedded contingent interest derivative related to our Convertible Debentures.
 
2011
 
Quarter Ended
Year Ended
 
March 31 (2)
 
June 30 (3)
 
September 30 (4)
 
December 31 (5)
 
December 31,
 
(In thousands, except per share data)
     Revenues
$
181,523

 
$
189,844

 
$
196,965

 
$
203,646

 
$
771,978

     Gross Profit
$
140,654

 
$
149,177

 
$
155,271

 
$
161,630

 
$
606,732

     Operating Income
$
65,510

 
$
82,059

 
$
88,947

 
$
92,873

 
$
329,389

     Net income (loss)
$
40,771

 
$
(10,610
)
 
$
58,916

 
$
53,814

 
$
142,891

     Net income (loss) per share (1):
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
          Basic
$
0.24

 
$
(0.06
)
 
$
0.36

 
$
0.34

 
$
0.87

          Diluted
$
0.24

 
$
(0.06
)
 
$
0.36

 
$
0.34

 
$
0.86

——————
(1)
Net income (loss) per share for the year is computed independently and may not equal the sum of the quarterly net income (loss) per share.
(2)
Net income during the quarter ended March 31, 2011, is reduced by pre-tax $5.5 million in restructuring charges.
(3)
Net loss during the quarter ended June 30, 2011, includes a $100.0 million contingent interest payment to the holders of our Convertible Debentures, offset by a corresponding discrete income tax benefit of $39.7 million. Net loss during the quarter ended June 30, 2011 was reduced by the release of $5.9 million of liabilities related to non-income tax expenses as a result of the lapse of the statutes of limitations, offset by $3.7 million in restructuring charges.
(4)
Net income during the quarter ended September 30, 2011, is reduced by pre-tax $3.0 million in restructuring charges.
(5)
Net income during the quarter ended December 31, 2011, is reduced by pre-tax $3.4 million in restructuring charges and a $3.9 million out of period charge for certain non-income taxes related to investments.
Our quarterly revenues and operating results are difficult to forecast. Therefore, we believe that period-to-period comparisons of our operating results will not necessarily be meaningful, and should not be relied upon as an indication of future performance. Also, operating results may fall below our expectations and the expectations of securities analysts or investors in one or more future quarters. If this were to occur, the market price of our common stock would likely decline. For further information regarding the quarterly fluctuation of our revenues and operating results, see Item 1A, “Risk Factors-Our operating results may fluctuate and our future revenues and profitability are uncertain” of this Form 10-K.

44

Table of Contents


ITEM 9.
CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE

Not applicable.


ITEM 9A.
CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES
 
a. Evaluation of Disclosure Controls and Procedures
 
Based on our management’s evaluation, with the participation of our Chief Executive Officer (our principal executive officer) and our Chief Financial Officer (our principal financial officer), as of December 31, 2012, our principal executive officer and principal financial officer have concluded that our disclosure controls and procedures (as defined in Rules 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, (the “Exchange Act”)) are effective to ensure that information required to be disclosed by us in reports that we file or submit under the Exchange Act is recorded, processed, summarized and reported within the time periods specified in SEC rules and forms and is accumulated and communicated to our management, including our principal executive officer and principal financial officer, as appropriate to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosure.
 
b. Management’s Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting
 
Our management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting as defined in Rules 13a-15(f) and 15d-15(f) under the Exchange Act. Under the supervision and with the participation of our management, including our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, we conducted an evaluation of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2012 using the criteria established in Internal Control-Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (“COSO”).
 
Based on our evaluation under the COSO framework, management has concluded that our internal control over financial reporting is effective to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.
 
KPMG LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, has issued a report concerning the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2012. See “Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm” in Item 15 of this Form 10-K.

c. Changes in Internal Control over Financial Reporting
 
There was no change in our internal control over financial reporting (as such term is defined in Rules 13a-15(f) and 15d-15(f) under the Exchange Act) during the three months ended December 31, 2012 that has materially affected, or is reasonably likely to materially affect, the Company’s internal control over financial reporting.
 
d. Inherent Limitations of Disclosure Controls and Internal Control over Financial Reporting
 
Because of their inherent limitations, our disclosure controls and procedures and our internal control over financial reporting may not prevent material errors or fraud. A control system, no matter how well conceived and operated, can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurance that the objectives of the control system are met. The effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures and our internal control over financial reporting is subject to risks, including that the controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions or that the degree of compliance with our policies or procedures may deteriorate.

ITEM 9B.      OTHER INFORMATION

Not applicable.


45

Table of Contents

  PART III
 
ITEM 10.
DIRECTORS, EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
 
The information required by this item relating to our directors and nominees, regarding compliance with Section 16(a) of the Exchange Act, and regarding our Audit Committee, Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee and Compensation Committee will be included under the captions “Proposal No. 1: Election of Directors,” “Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management-Section 16(a) Beneficial Ownership Reporting Compliance,” and “Corporate Governance” in our Proxy Statement related to the 2013 Annual Meeting of Stockholders and is incorporated herein by reference (“2013 Proxy Statement”).
 
Pursuant to General Instruction G(3) of Form 10-K, the information required by this item relating to our executive officers is included under the caption “Executive Officers of the Registrant” in Part I of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
 
We have adopted a code of ethics that applies to our principal executive officer, principal financial officer and other senior accounting officers. This code of ethics, titled “Code of Ethics for the Chief Executive Officer and Senior Financial Officers,” is posted on our website along with the “Verisign Code of Conduct” that applies to all officers and employees, including the aforementioned officers. The Internet address for our website is www.verisigninc.com , and the “Code of Ethics for the Chief Executive Officer and Senior Financial Officers” may be found from our main Web page by clicking first on “company info,” next on “investor information,” next on “Corporate Governance,” next on “Ethics and Business Conduct,” and finally on “Code of Ethics for the Chief Executive Officer and Senior Financial Officers.” The “Verisign Code of Conduct” applicable to all officers and employees can similarly be found on the Web page for “Ethics and Business Conduct” under the link entitled “Verisign Code of Conduct-2012.”
 
We intend to satisfy any disclosure requirement under Item 5.05 of Form 8-K regarding an amendment to, or waiver from, a provision of the “Code of Ethics for the Chief Executive Officer and Senior Financial Officers” or, to the extent also applicable to the principal executive officer, principal financial officer, or other senior accounting officers, the “Verisign Code of Conduct-2012” by posting such information on our website, on the Web page found by clicking through to “Ethics and Business Conduct” as specified above.

ITEM 11.
EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION
 
Information required by this item is incorporated herein by reference to our 2013 Proxy Statement from the discussions under the captions “Compensation of Directors,” “Non-Employee Director Retainer Fees and Equity Compensation Information” and “Non-Employee Director Compensation Table for Fiscal 2012,” and “Executive Compensation.”

ITEM 12.
SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS
 
Information required by this item is incorporated herein by reference from the discussions under the captions “Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management” and “Equity Compensation Plan Information” in our 2013 Proxy Statement.

ITEM 13.
CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS, AND DIRECTOR INDEPENDENCE
 
Information required by this item is incorporated herein by reference to our 2013 Proxy Statement from the discussions under the captions “Policies and Procedures with Respect to Transactions with Related Persons,” “Certain Relationships and Related Transactions” and “Independence of Directors.”

ITEM 14.
PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES
 
Information required by this item is incorporated herein by reference to our 2013 Proxy Statement from the discussions under the captions “Principal Accountant Fees and Services” and “Policy on Audit Committee Pre-Approval of Audit and Permissible Non-Audit Services of Independent Auditors.”

46

Table of Contents

PART IV
 
ITEM 15.
EXHIBITS AND FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES
 
(a) Documents filed as part of this report
 
Financial statements
 
    Reports of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
 
    Consolidated Balance Sheets as of December 31, 2012 and 2011

Consolidated Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Income for the Years Ended December 31, 2012, 2011 and 2010

Consolidated Statements of Stockholders’ Equity (Deficit) for the Years Ended December 31, 2012, 2011 and 2010

    Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for the Years Ended December 31, 2012, 2011 and 2010

    Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
 
Financial statement schedules
 
Financial statement schedules are omitted because the information called for is not material or is shown either in the consolidated financial statements or the notes thereto.
 
3.
Exhibits
 
(a) Index to Exhibits

Pursuant to the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), the Company has filed certain agreements as exhibits to this Form 10-K. These agreements may contain representations and warranties by the parties thereto. These representations and warranties have been made solely for the benefit of the other party or parties to such agreements and (1) may be intended not as statements of fact, but rather as a way of allocating the risk to one of the parties to such agreements if those statements prove to be inaccurate, (2) may have been qualified by disclosures that were made to such other party or parties and that either have been reflected in the Company’s filings or are not required to be disclosed in those filings, (3) may apply materiality standards different from what may be viewed as material to investors and (4) were made only as of the date of such agreements or such other date(s) as may be specified in such agreements and are subject to more recent developments. Accordingly, these representations and warranties may not describe the Company’s actual state of affairs at the date hereof or at any other time.
 
 
 
 
Incorporated by Reference
 
 
Exhibit
Number
  
Exhibit Description
 
Form
 
Date
 
Number
 
Filed Herewith
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2.01
 
Agreement and Plan of Merger dated as of March 6, 2000, by and among the Registrant, Nickel Acquisition Corporation and Network Solutions, Inc.
 
8-K
 
3/8/00
 
2.1

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2.02
 
Agreement and Plan of Merger dated September 23, 2001, by and among the Registrant, Illinois Acquisition Corporation and Illuminet Holdings, Inc.
 
S-4
 
10/10/01
 
4.03

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2.03
 
Purchase Agreement dated as of October 14, 2003, as amended, among the Registrant and the parties indicated therein.
 
8-K
 
12/10/03
 
2.1

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2.04
 
Sale and Purchase Agreement Regarding the Sale and Purchase of All Shares in Jamba! AG dated May 23, 2004 between the Registrant and certain other named individuals.
 
10-K
 
3/16/05
 
2.04

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2.05
 
Asset Purchase Agreement dated October 10, 2005, as amended, among the Registrant, eBay, Inc. and the other parties thereto.
 
8-K
 
11/23/05
 
2.1

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

47

Table of Contents

 
 
 
 
Incorporated by Reference
 
 
Exhibit
Number
  
Exhibit Description
 
Form
 
Date
 
Number
 
Filed Herewith
3.01
 
Fourth Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation of the Registrant.
 
S-1
 
11/5/07
 
3.01

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
3.02
 
Sixth Amended and Restated Bylaws of VeriSign, Inc.
 
8-K
 
7/31/12
 
3.01

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
4.01
 
Indenture dated as of August 20, 2007 between the Registrant and U.S. Bank National Association.
 
8-K/A
 
9/6/07
 
4.1

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
4.02
 
Registration Rights Agreement dated as of August 20, 2007 between the Registrant and J.P. Morgan Securities, Inc.
 
8-K/A
 
9/6/07
 
4.2

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
10.01
 
Form of Revised Indemnification Agreement entered into by the Registrant with each of its directors and executive officers.
 
10-K
 
3/31/03
 
10.02

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
10.02
 
409A Options Election Form and related documentation. +
 
8-K
 
1/4/07
 
99.01

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
10.03
 
Registrant's 1998 Directors Stock Option Plan, as amended through May 22, 2003, and form of stock option agreement. +
 
S-8
 
6/23/03
 
4.02

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
10.04
 
Registrant's 2001 Stock Incentive Plan, as amended through November 22, 2002. +
 
10-K
 
3/31/03
 
10.08

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
10.05
 
Registrant's 2006 Equity Incentive Plan, as adopted May 26, 2006. +
 
10-Q
 
7/12/07
 
10.02

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
10.06
 
Registrant's 2006 Equity Incentive Plan, form of Stock Option Agreement. +
 
10-Q
 
7/12/07
 
10.03

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
10.07
 
Registrant's 2006 Equity Incentive Plan, form of Directors Nonqualified Stock Option Grant. +
 
10-Q
 
8/9/07
 
10.01

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
10.08
 
Nonqualified Registrant's 2006 Equity Incentive Plan, amended form of Nonqualified Directors Stock Option Grant. +
 
S-1
 
11/5/07
 
10.15

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
10.09
 
Registrant's 2006 Equity Incentive Plan, form of Employee Restricted Stock Unit Agreement. +
 
10-Q
 
7/12/07
 
10.04

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
10.10
 
Registrant's 2006 Equity Incentive Plan, form of Non-Employee Director Restricted Stock Unit Agreement. +
 
10-Q
 
7/12/07
 
10.05

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
10.11
 
Registrant's 2006 Equity Incentive Plan, form of Performance-Based Restricted Stock Unit Agreement. +
 
8-K
 
8/30/07
 
99.1

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
10.12
 
Registrant's 2007 Employee Stock Purchase Plan, as adopted August 30, 2007. +
 
S-1
 
11/5/07
 
10.19

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
10.13
 
Assignment Agreement, dated as of April 18, 1995 between the Registrant and RSA Data Security, Inc.
 
S-1
 
1/29/98
 
10.15

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
10.14
 
BSAFE/TIPEM OEM Master License Agreement, dated as of April 18, 1995, between the Registrant and RSA Data Security, Inc., as amended.
 
S-1
 
1/29/98
 
10.16

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
10.15
 
Amendment Number Two to BSAFE/TIPEM OEM Master License Agreement dated as of December 31, 1998 between the Registrant and RSA Data Security, Inc.
 
S-1
 
1/5/99
 
10.31

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
10.16
 
Non-Compete and Non-Solicitation Agreement, dated April 18, 1995, between the Registrant and RSA Security, Inc.
 
S-1
 
1/29/98
 
10.17

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
10.17
 
Microsoft/VeriSign Certificate Technology Preferred Provider Agreement, effective as of May 1, 1997, between the Registrant and Microsoft Corporation.*
 
S-1
 
1/29/98
 
10.18

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
10.18
 
Master Development and License Agreement, dated as of September 30, 1997, between the Registrant and Security Dynamics Technologies, Inc.*