Verisign reported their quarterly results, the last before their projected price increases kick in. It looks like they will need the price increases. The results are flattish to disappointing, and I don’t think that bodes well for the future unless they start marketing. But marketing hurts margins, and every $.01 miss on earning punishes the stock, will they have the courage to spend on marketing? I hope so. .COM is still the best global TLD.
Even though they “say” they expect the name base to to increase 2-4%, I don’t see how that is possible as the average duration of registrations shrinks. Secondly, I think they renewal rates reported have the “*” that true numbers cant be shown until 45 days after the quarter, which hasn’t happened yet.
I predict the coming projected increase in domain name prices will dampen investor sentiment for new registrations and the registered names based will actually shrink in 2020… unless they finally realize they need to market .com and .net beyond registrar subsidies. I’ve always thought a similar effort like the NYSE or NASDAQ did with companies that list on those exchanges would reinforce their leadership position in .com.
I’ll even throw in free advice on the slogan, use “Still the One” and the accompanying song.
But there is no pressure to act. The renewals can drop and revenue stay the same or increase, because the price increase means they get 7% more revenue on existing registrations that renew. And the stock buybacks keep the stock up…. until the inevitable drop in registrations kicks in, maybe 2022.
The huge number of short speculative one year registrations means investors are making up a larger percentage of registrations, with lower renewal rates. Hopefully the need for better registration numbers will give us some $.99 deals around late march. I’m waiting and hoping.