Verisign reports earnings, 1.51 million net adds

Company reports continued growth in domain name registrations and base.

Verisign reported first quarter earnings after the bell today, including some fairly solid numbers for new registrations and net additions in .com/.net.

8.7 million new .com and .net registrations occurred in the first quarter, up from 8.6 million in the same quarter last year. It’s not a big jump, but it’s headed in the right direction. That netted out to 1.51 million more names after accounting for deletions.

Revenue for the quarter was up 3.9% compared to Q1 2014 to $258 million. Earnings dipped from $94 million to $88 million.

If I were an analyst on today’s conference call, I’d ask what the average revenue per registration for a new .com domain is after taking out direct marketing payments to registrars. I’ve seen lots of promotions on .com lately, including one registrar offering unlimited .com domains for $5 toward the end of last year. It makes sense for Verisign to do this. But for anyone modeling the business, it would be good to understand how much the company is getting for a new .com domain name these days.

.Com’s winners and losers update

Rightside had a good December in terms of transfer gains.

ICANN has published Verisign’s .com transaction report from December, giving us an idea of which domain name registrars are winning and losing customers through transfers.

eNom had the biggest net gain from transfers, while Moniker had the biggest net outflow. Here are the top 5* net winners from December:

1. eNom +26,948
2. Uniregistrar +13,842
3. NameSilo +6,829
4. Name.com +6,044 (same company as eNom)
5. HiChina +5,699

Click here to continue reading…

How domain name stocks did on GoDaddy’s IPO day

Competitors also get bump as GoDaddy soars.

GoDaddyGoDaddy went public yesterday and shares immediately shot up 30%, giving the company a $4 billion market cap. In very early trading today it’s up another 3%.

There are a number of similar public companies out there. I think the two closest comps are Endurance International (which owns Domain.com and a number of shared hosting companies) and Web.com.

Endurance International Group (EIGI) shares were up about 4% yesterday, giving the company a $2.6 billion market cap.

Like GoDaddy, EIGI carries a lot of debt. But the reason for the debt load is different. GoDaddy has debt because of the 2011 buyout; Endurance was a debt-powered rollup.

Web.com (WWWW) was up about 3% yesterday and has a market cap of just shy of $1.0 billion. The company owns Network Solutions and Register.com.

Shares of three other domain name companies were essentially flat yesterday: Rightside (NAME), Tucows (TCX) and Verisign (VRSN). None of these comps are as similar to GoDaddy as EIGI and WWWW.

GoDaddy shares pop 30% at open

So far, so good for GoDaddy’s IPO.

It’s not an April Fool joke — GoDaddy is off to a great start in the public markets.

Shares began trading at about $26 today, 30% over where the IPO priced. The $20 pricing was itself above the expected range of $17-$19.

At $26 a share, the company is being valued at about $4 billion.

The nice open might be affecting shares of rival Web.com (NASDAQ: WWWW), which are up close to 3% today. Other domain name stocks are mixed. Tucows shares are up about a percent and Rightside is trending downward.

We’ll see if GoDaddy’s 30% jump holds through the day.

IBM’s Softlayer hit with ICANN breach notice

Notice appears to be triggered by customer complaint.

ICANN has sent a breach notice (pdf) to Everyones Internet, Ltd. dba SoftLayer, citing multiple contract infractions. Softlayer was acquired by IBM in 2013.

According to the most recent .com registry report from November, Softlayer’s domain business is meaningful. It had about 90,000 .com registrations at the time.

The breach appears to be triggered from a dispute about the domain name southaustralianweddings.com and maintaining registration records for it. But it also cites a number of other areas of non-compliance: Click here to continue reading…