Most publicly traded domain name companies have had their stocks hit hard in 2014.
The broader markets are up big time this year, but there’s not much cheer at domain name companies that are publicly listed. With about a month left in the year, some publicly traded domain name companies will need a healthy rebound to end the year where they started. In fact, I count only three companies that are up this year, compared to 6 that are down (big time).
Here’s a look at the winners and losers in the stock market this year, as of the close of trading Wednesday.
Tucows (NASDAQ: TCX) shares started trading on the NASDAQ this year, and its stock has risen 26% from $13.95 to $17.63. Revenue growth has been driven mainly by the company’s Ting mobile phone offering.
Endurance International Group (NASDAQ: EIGI), which owns Domain.com and a number of shared hosting companies, rose 21% from $14.01 to 16.94.
Verisign (NASDAQ: VRSN) was essentially flat, opening the year at $59.74 and closing before Thanksgiving at $60.07.
Centralnic (LSE AIM: CNIC) is down a whopping 63% from 98.0p to 36.0p (based on last trade before November 27). It runs the backend for a number of new top level domain names, as well as multiple third level domain names.
Marchex (NASDAQ: MCHX) is another domain company having a rough year, but it’s not because of problems in its domain business. Its click-to-call business lost business from a key customer and saw its stock drop like a rock. Shares opened the year at $8.59 and have plummeted 57% to $3.71
Web.com (NASDAQ: WWWW) has had a bad year, dropping 45% from $31.74 to $17.36. Its market cap has sunk below $900 million. Its slide started when Google announced its entry to the domain name registrar market. The slide continued with revenue misses, a decision to end a customer segment that shaved a lot of revenue off, and otherwise poor execution.
Rightside (NASDAQ: NAME) started trading August 4 after the spinoff from Demand Media. It hasn’t done well since then, but neither has Demand Media. Rightside shares are down 45% from $15.82 to $8.73.
Neustar (NYSE: NSR) has also lost 45% of its share value this year, thanks to the potential loss of a lucrative phone system contract. Shares opened at $49.75 and closed Wednesday at $27.43.
Minds + Machines (LSE AIM: MMX) started the year trading as Top Level Domain Holdings, and then switched to Minds + Machines when it began its active new TLD business. Shares are down 33% from 14.12p to 9.50p. Keep in mind that the company issued new shares this year, so its overall value isn’t down by a third.
[The original version of this article did not include Endurance International Group.]