China sinks Verisign’s domain base in Q4

But price hikes help the company post solid financials.

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Verisign (NASDAQ: VRSN) reported earnings yesterday and, once again, blamed China for a drop in domain name registrations.

The company had 9.0 million new .com and .net registrations during the quarter. That’s down from 9.7 million in the same quarter a year ago and 9.9 million in Q3 2023.

The overall base of .com and .net domains sunk 1.2 million names during the quarter, landing at 172.7 million. That’s also down from 173.8 million domains at the end of 2023.

Peeling back the curtain, the reason for the drop was a significant decline in China. The company lost 2.2 million domains under management there during 2023. So, without that precipitous fall, Verisign would have shown growth in the domain base last year.

Looking ahead to 2024, the company expects the domain base to shrink by as many as 1.0 million domains or grow by as many as 1.0 million.

You don’t need to cry for Verisign, though. Revenue increased to $1.49 billion, and the company pulled in $1.0 billion of operating income, or more than $1 million per employee.

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