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Verisign raises guidance after strong first quarter

The domain market is sizzling as more companies go online.

Chart showing growth in the .com/.net domain base
A chart from Verisign’s earnings presentation showing steady growth in the base of .com and .net domains, with an uplift in Q1 2021.

Verisign (NASDAQ: VRSN) reported first quarter earnings yesterday along with domain growth that exceeded expectations.

The registry processed 11.6 million new .com and .net domain name registrations in Q1. That added 2.8 million domains to its base after accounting for deletions. As of today, there are 155.1 million registered .com domains and 13.5 million .net

For comparison, Verisign processed 10.0 million domain registrations in the first quarter of 2020.

The company credits a growing economy for the uplift. Domain registrars tell it that growth is broad and is driven by small businesses and individuals.

Verisign expects this to continue and has upped its guidance for the year. It increased its projected revenue range to $1.315 billion to $1.330 billion, up from $1.300 billion to $1.320 billion. It also increased its .com/.net domain base growth projection of 2.5% to 4.5%, to 4.0%-5.5%.

Its earnings will be helped by a 7% increase in the price it charges for .com registrations and renewals starting September 1.

The company also announced that it expects an Independent Review Panel to issue a ruling on .web within 60 days from April 7. Verisign won the auction for the domain but runner-up bidder Afilias disputed the auction because Verisign bid through a different entity.

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