Verisign Grows .com and .net as New gTLDs Set to Debut
Verisign continues to grow its business as new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) are set to debut. Verisign operates root DNS for the Internet under contract with the U.S Department of Commerce and manages the .com and .net domain registries.
Verisign reported its third quarter fiscal 2013 earnings late Thursday, with revenue coming in at $244 million for a 9 percent year-over-year gain. Net income hit $81 million, up from the $78 million Verisign reported in the third quarter of 2012.
Looking forward, Verisign provided full year fiscal 2013 guidance for revenue to range from $960 million to $965 million, representing an annual growth rate of 10 percent.
A key part of Verisign's business is its handling of the .com and .net domain registries, which both continue to grow. The base of active .com domains as of the end of September was 110.7 million names, while the .net registry now has 15.2 million domains. Verisign pegged the year-over-year growth rate for both .com and .net at 5 percent.
The .com and .net domain name space numbers include existing domains that have been renewed, as well as new domain name registrations. For the third quarter, Verisign reported that it handled 8.3 million new domain name registrations, up from 7.8 million a year ago.
Verisign also manages the root zone of Internet DNS, a zone that is now being expanded. This week, the first four new gTLDs were delegated with new international domain names. The first four names are:
شبكة (xn--ngbc5azd) – Arabic for "web/network"
Registry: International Domain Registry Pty. Ltd.
онлайн (xn--80asehdb) – Cyrillic for "online"
Registry: CORE Association
сайт (xn--80aswg) – Cyrillic for "site"
Registry: CORE Association
游戏(xn--unup4y) – Chinese for "game(s)"
Registry: Spring Fields, LLC
The gTLD process will see potentially thousands of new names added to root DNS in the coming years as the Internet expands beyond .com and .net. to a dot-anything world. Verisign has applied for its own set of gTLDs, though when they will be formally approved by ICANN remains unclear.
"At this point, we're not sure of the timing for our own new gTLD applications or for the back-end Registry Services that we'll be providing, but we will provide updates as appropriate regarding the status of our applications," Jim Bidzos, executive chairman, president and chief executive officer of Verisign said during his company's earnings call.
Verisign is also looking to expands its business by way of monetizing its intellectual property patents. The company did not disclose its plans on how the company might monetize them, though Bidzos did identify how many patent Verisign currently holds.
"Over the years, VeriSign's commitment to performance and reliability in our registry operations have led us to innovate energetically and to develop capabilities that are not available from off-the-shelf products," Bidzos said. "As of the end of the third quarter, VeriSign has a patent portfolio with a combined total of 231 patents and patent applications in the U.S., plus 304 granted and pending patent applications in other countries."
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist