This past week, publishing giant The Washington Post Co. (NYSE:WPO) missed a critical deadline. Its namesake paper came out just fine and its domain pumped out the publisher's content line; however, when it failed to renew its mail-serving domain, its editorial departments were left temporarily incommunicado when it came to email.

The company was in no real danger of losing the domain. Registrars allow weeks to go by as a grace period before releasing domains. Still, it's humbling to see a media giant make such a rookie mistake. You could probably hear rivals like Knight Ridder (NYSE:KRI), The New York Times Co. (NYSE:NYT) and Tribune (NYSE:TRB) chuckling.

But let's hope they don't laugh too hard. It can happen to anyone. Last year, Vivendi Universal's (NYSE:V) failed to renew its domain, which serves more than 250,000 artist pages. Thankfully the domain is now in the hands of CNET (NASDAQ:CNET). Those techies would never miss a beat -- or would they?

There was a time when this domain name business looked to be huge. It's essentially why Verisign (NASDAQ:VRSN) hooked up with Network Solutions. It's why (NASDAQ:RCOM) was such a hot Initial Public Offering (IPO) four years ago. Patrons would want the dot-com real estate and all related extensions, with annual renewals offering a steady stream of business. It hasn't worked out that way. Last year, only half of's registered names were renewed.

Perhaps that's why, even as posted a profit this past quarter, it still doesn't get investors excited. After an ambitious self-tender reduced the total shares outstanding to 23.5 million in September, the company has $3.84 a share in cash. The market has marked the stock up less than $2 from that. That's what some members of our Fool Community would consider a Green Gene stock.

As for Washington Post Co., maybe it just had its mind on more enticing matters. On Friday, Whitney Tilson sang the company's praises, though more for its Kaplan education business than its flagship media empire. If nothing else, the blunder sent a message to Corporate America -- keep your domains close, and your domain registrations current.

Are companies that trade near their net working capital attractive or troublesome? If they are able to retain their liquidity levels, is there really limited downside? Think you can handle the quest for deep value? All this and more -- in the Green Gene Stocks discussion board. Only on