After the stock market closed last night Tucows (TCX) reported its earnings for the 4th quarter ending Devember 31, 2012
Most of the good numbers were in the earnings call:
“”Total revenue for the quarter grew 13%, from the same quarter in 2011 to $29.8 million, our eleventh consecutive quarter of growth and revenue for the year grew 18% net percent to just shy of $115 million both records for the respective periods.”
“Cash flow from operations for Q4 was $2 million and for the year was $6.3 million.
Sale of the domain names and advertising from our OpenSRS Domain Expiry Stream increased by $601,000 or 12% to $5.8 million from $5.1 million in the same quarter of 2011″.
Let’s look at the highlights for the quarter in each of the three parts of our business beginning with wholesale. Domain services the largest component of our wholesale business continued to perform well in Q4.
Revenue for the domain services was up 8% compared to the same quarter of 2011. Transaction volumes continue to be soft, which is consistent with what we were seeing in an industry level. Total transactions were down by 5% from Q4 2011 and just over $2 million.
New registrations were down 27% from Q4 2011 primarily related to marketing activities specific in Q4 of last year undertaken by specific large customers. However I’ll again note that the corresponding impact on gross margin is much, much lower as the decrease was related to very low margin transactions.
Renewal registration continue to show growth up 6% year-over-year , but down sequentially as a result of those same marketing campaigns undertaken by resellers and industry partners in 2011 that had low renewal rates a year later. We expect this effect to be temporary and despite this our renewal rate remains above the industry average. The number of transfers in likewise decreased 8%.
Total domains under management at the end of the fourth quarter were 14 million, up 18% for the same time last year. This was impacted by the acquisition of a registrar by one of our customers who then moved registrations to its own accreditation on our platform.
In Q4, we had fewer sales of domains over $50,000 than we’ve had in previous quarters.
Yet, the total number of domains sold directly was up 83% year-over-year.
Likewise, revenue from domains sold through network partners was up 17%, hitting at all time high of well over $400,000. Both also saw increases in average sales price. Thus, our strategy in 2012 of moving to higher price points as well as increase in the upper stores direct sales has paid off.
Finally, while sales of high price domains might delight or disappoint from one quarter to the next, our pipeline of domain sales in the $2,000 to $3,000 rate continues to show the sort of reliability and steady growth that we look for in all of our business units.”
Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the fourth quarter of 2012 were $6.4 million compared with $5.0 million at the end of the third quarter of 2012 and $6.4 million from the end of the fourth quarter of 2011.
CEO Elliot Noss had some interesting thoughts on the domain resale market:
“Growth in the portfolio component will be driven by continuing efficiencies in the secondary market for domain names.”
“In addition to the fact that the size of our portfolio of names increases every quarter we expect to see continuing efficiencies going forward especially as more and more mainstream buyers come into the market.”
“In other words we expect these efficiencies going forward to come from the demand side, whereas over the past few years the efficiencies have come from the supply side, such as increasing access to the market by getting our portfolio in front of the GoDaddy customer base”.