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How domain stocks are faring in 2020

Endurance leads the way after acquisition.

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It’s been a wild ride in the stock market this year. On March 14, I wrote about how domain name stocks fared during the pandemic market crash up through the close on March 13. I wrote an update in May about how shares had rebounded with the market.

Fast forward to now: The NASDAQ is up 29% for the year, the S&P 500 up 7%, and the Dow is down 2%.

Domain stocks should probably be compared to the tech-heavy NASDAQ.

Here’s a look at how domain stocks have fared this year. Data is based on the closing price on December 31, 2019 and November 4, 2020.

Verisign (NASDAQ: VRSN): Verisign is up 6% for the year, closing at $203.39 yesterday. The company is seeing a nice uptick in domain registrations as businesses move online during the pandemic. The market is likely also pricing in 7% annual price hikes for the next four years, with the first kicking in before October 2021.

Tucows (NASDAQ: TCX): Shares in the company that owns Enom have increased 23% this year. The market cheered when Tucows divested its lagging mobile phone business.

GoDaddy (NYSE: GDDY): Before announcing earnings yesterday evening, shares were up 17% for the year.  The stock is getting hit today.

Endurance (NASDAQ: EIGI): An acquisition by Clearlake Capital values shares at $9.50 each. They’re currently trading at $9.36, nearly double their closing price on December 31, 2019.

CentralNic (London AIM: CNIC): CentralNic continues its acquisition binge, moving heavily into online advertising. Shares are down 15% for the year.

MMX (London AIM: MMX): An accounting scandal at this top level domain company has pushed shares lower in recent weeks. Shares are down 37% so far this year.

NameSilo (OTC: URLOF): Thinly traded NameSilo is having a rough year on the market. The OTC stock is off 55%.

Clarivate (NYSE: CCC): I didn’t include Clarivate in my analyses earlier this year because domains are just a small part of what it does (it owns MarkMonitor). But it has had a great year on the market; shares are up 80%!

I do not own individual shares in publicly-traded domain name companies to avoid a conflict of interest. Mutual funds I own, including index funds, do hold some of these stocks.

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