Ted Cruz has a reasonable beef with Verisign.
The U.S. Senator from Texas, in his effort to win the Republican presidential primary, had to resort to using the address tedcruz.org, because tedcruz.com had been co-opted by someone else. Anyone visiting the .com address finds a picture of Hillary Clinton followed by the text, "Next President of the United States of America!!!"
Verisign runs the dot-com domain, which has 127.5 million registered addresses, according to the Reston, Virginia–based company's latest earnings report. Verisign's control over dot-com is based on a contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a nonprofit organization that oversees the web's naming system.
Last month, Cruz, Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis) wrote a letter to the Department of Justice opposing ICANN's proposed contract extension with Verisign to 2024. The current agreement ends in 2018, but Verisign and ICANN are working to extend it now, rather than waiting two years.
Friday was a good day for Verisign and a bad one for Cruz.
Verisign shares rose 5.6 percent to $79.02, after Cowen & Co.'s Gregg Moskowitz wrote in a report that the U.S. government is unlikely to intervene in a matter that hurts Verisign. Cowen's report was based on its interpretation of the DOJ's response to Cruz on Wednesday.
"While the language used was noncommittal, we believe it may indicate a material adverse outcome for VRSN is not very likely to occur," wrote Moskowitz, who has a "market perform" rating on the stock and an $80 price target.