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USB Piper Cuts Verisign Rating

Shares of Verisign were down after USB Piper downgraded the stock to buy from strong buy to reflect increased intermediate term risk.

Analyst Gene Munster says although still favorable to the company story, the downgrade reflects potential impact on the company's shares based on belief .com/.net/.org zone files will contract slightly in November. Also, sustained competitive bulk pricing could impact, albeit slightly, registrar market share. Notes the decline in zone file listings could expose the company's registrar business, which accounted for roughly 46% of revenues in Sept. Q. Thinks analysis of future data is required, and sees $0.64 2001 EPS, $1.18 2002.

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