Dot COM Still King! Verisign 3Q 2014, Highest 3Q on Record!

  • 8.7 Million New Name Registrations in Q3 ‘14 Compared with 8.3 Million in Q3 ‘13
  • Verisign Registry Services added 1.15 million net new names during the third quarter (highest on record of gross adds), ending with 130.0 million active domain names in the zone for .COM and .NET which represents a 3.3 percent increase over the zone at the end of the third quarter in 2013
  • 114.9 million .COM domain names at end of Q3
  • The final .COM and .NET renewal rate for the second quarter of 2014 was 71.8 percent compared with 72.7 percent for the same quarter in 2013 (past 5 years renewal rate has ranged from 70 to 74 percent)
  • .NET facing headwinds from new gTLDs [see: Most New gTLD Domain Names Are On Life-Support, Infecting Other gTLDs ]  Verisign says .NET more susceptible than .COM to "new gTLDs confusion"-- .COM is a "trusted brand" -- 30th anniversary in 2015!

Update from: VeriSign's (VRSN) CEO James Bidzos on Q3 2014 Results - Earnings Call Transcript | Seeking Alpha (excerpts):

"We continue to protect the business by providing over 17 continuous years of 100% availability of the .COM DNS. "

"As of September 30, 2014, the company maintained total assets of $2.2 billion. These assets included $1.5 billion of cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities, of which, $599 million were held domestically with the remainder held internationally."

"As Jim (D. James Bidzos, Verisign Founder, Executive Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President) mentioned, the net adds came in at 1.15 in the quarter, which was at the high end of our guidance. And gross registrations were really the reason that we got to the high end. 8.7 million was clearly up sequentially in both year-over-year. As Jim mentioned, it was the highest Q3 on record. And in gross registrations, we have really seen China continue to be a growth engine for us."--George E. Kilguss, Verisign CFO, Principal Accounting Officer and Senior Vice President

And, a great question from Fred Ziegel, Topeka Capital Markets Research Division:

QUESTION from Frederick D. Ziegel: As I understand, ICANN for their fiscal '15 budget was originally using something in excess of 30 million new gTLDs, that number, apparently, is now 15 million, and most people think that number is way too high. So does that all tie back to confusion, contracting? Are people deciding to just move back to .com? Or what dynamics are working there? 

ANSWER: Patrick S. Kane - Verisign Senior Vice President of Naming Services: Fred, this is Pat. What I will start off with, as far as the projections go, you're probably best off asking ICANN, or better yet, maybe the registrars that actually sell the domains as to what they're thinking. But as Jim mentioned earlier, it's quite possible. And we believe, and we've -- and I've certainly seen written many times, that there is additional confusion in the space, whether you have singles, plurals, who's going to buy what in terms of the different areas, what the communities look like, et cetera, and what still has to come out. So I think that there is some confusion. And I think, as Jim pointed out, with all these domain, the TLD that roll out every week, you'll see more and more confusion, I believe."

Verisign stock UP today--Oct 23 2014:
NASDAQ: VRSN - Market close: 56.34 up $1.15 (2.08%)

Earnings Results 472.0 KB pdf

Earnings Presentation 541.5 KB pdf

Quarterly VRSN Convertible Debenture Dilution Q3- 2014 86.3 KB pdf

Further reading: Verisign Reports Third Quarter 2014 Results - MarketWatch

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