VeriSign, Inc., the registry for .COM and .NET domain names reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2011 on 28 April with reported revenue of $182 million for the first quarter of 2011, up two per cent from the prior quarter and up 12 per cent from the same quarter in 2010.
On the domain name front, Verisign Registry Services reported approximately 108 million active domain names in the adjusted zone for .COM and .NET, following with their typical reporting not breaking up .COM and .NET domain name numbers. This represented a nine per cent increase year-over-year.
In the first quarter, Verisign processed a record 8.3 million new domain name registrations, representing an approximate increase of three per cent year-over-year.
Verisign experienced an average daily query load of 57 billion during the first quarter, compared to 54 billion in the same quarter 2010.
“We are pleased to report another record quarter for Verisign in new domain name registrations and strong performance overall in the Naming Services business,” said Mark McLaughlin, president and chief executive officer of Verisign. “Our commitment to the continued availability and reliability of the Internet is core to our strategy, and we plan to leverage our extensive expertise and leadership in DNS management to help our customers improve the effectiveness and integrity of Internet communications.”
In other domain name news in the results, on 11 April, 2011, Verisign announced that ICANN posted renewal terms for the .NET Registry Agreement that were negotiated between Verisign and ICANN and are substantially the same terms contained in the .NET Agreement.
On 31 March, 2011, Verisign deployed Domain Name System Security (“DNSSEC”) in the .COM domain to provide origin authentication of Domain Name System (“DNS”) data, authenticated of existence, and data integrity.
Also announced announced during the quarter was that Verisignâs Managed DNS Service provides full support for DNSSEC compliance features and Geo-location capabilities, product enhancements which strengthen the and performance of DNS transactions.
Verisign ended the first quarter of 2011 with approximately 1,040 employees, compared to 1,050 employees at the end of the prior.
In addition, Verisign announced that its Board of Directors declared a special dividend of $2.75 per share of its common stock. The special dividend will be paid on May 18, 2011 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on May 9, 2011. The ex-dividend date will be May 5, 2011.
“Given the strength of our capital position following the restructuring of the business over the past several years, particularly as a result of the sale of the Authentication Services business last August, the Board voted at a regularly scheduled meeting to return approximately $463 million to the shareholders in the form of a special dividend,” said Jim Bidzos, chairman of the board.
Verisign’s Board of Directors has designated the special dividend as an extraordinary dividend for purposes of the indenture governing the company’s 3.25% Junior Subordinated Convertible Debentures due 2037 (the “Convertible Debentures”). As a result, contingent interest of approximately $100 million will also be paid on May 18, 2011 to holders of record of the Convertible Debentures at the close of business on May 9, 2011. Verisign expects that the aggregate amount of payments to be made in connection with the special dividend and the contingent interest will be approximately $563 million.
“We are committed to delivering value to our shareholders through disciplined operations and investment in growth opportunities for the company,” said Brian Robins, chief financial officer of Verisign. “During the first quarter, we utilized approximately $200 million to repurchase shares and we have share repurchase authorization of approximately $1.2 billion remaining under the current program.”
To register your .COM and .NET domain names, check out America Registry here.