Web.com had a few comments on its earnings call today that should be of concern to all domain name registrars:
CEO David L. Brown noted “the increased availability of [domain] names has had a near-term negative impact on domain-related revenue,” primarily related to “non-core domain-related revenue such as sales of premium domain names and bulk domain sales.”
Non-domain businesses (do-it-yourself websites, hosting, etc.) have been hurt by the “unintended consequences” of new marketing/bundled pricing tactics on product retention, and “the unanticipated impact of recent changes made by one of our highest-converting do-it-for-me lead generation partners” on telesales.
Web.com announced today it was launching a $100M buyback.
After accounting for the post-earnings drop, $100M will enable Web.com to buy 12% of its shares at its current price.
The question I have is with Web.com now trading $15.50 less than half of its 52 week high, what does that mean for Godaddy who has filed to go public?
Since Godaddy filed for its IPO, Google announced it was getting into the domain name registration business, which caused investors to bail out of Web.com sending its shares down over 20% back in June to $27.
In August Web.com missed its 2nd Quarter numbers and shares dropped 25% to $20 a share.
Today Web.com is telling investors that not only is the domaining community reducing domain registrations and aftermarket purchases though its registrars, but the small business customer that all registrars, but particularly Web.com and Godaddy.com have been heavily marketing to, with a build your own website type of product are in decline. Web.com share are down over 22% again today to $15 a share.
Godaddy.com of course is in the same business as Web.com has its own aftermarket auction product and owns Afternic.com which powers many premium domain name sales across 100+ registrars.
So if domain registration volume is down, and Aftermarket sales are down, you think that would be affecting sales on Afternic.com as well.
Since Godaddy.com filed for its IPO neither Afternic nor Godaddy have released any sales information either from Godaddy.com auction marketplace or though Afternic.com.
Afternic.com and Godaddy were issuing weekly sales report, before Godaddy filed for its IPO but hasn’t issued any sales report since June 10th, 2014.